Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Hundreds of houses and two schools in Whitecliff, Harare, face demolition after real estate mogul Edward Pfugari — who won a case against the Government last year over settlement of the property — served residents with a High Court order compelling them to vacate the farm by tomorrow.
Whitecliff Farm, near Kuwadzana Extension, belonged to Mr Pfugari of Eddies Pfugari Properties before Government compulsorily took over the land and allocated it to home seekers.
Mr Pfugari unsuccessfully contested the acquisition at the Administrative Court and appealed in the Supreme Court.
The highest court ordered the then Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development and residents to vacate the property to pave way for the legitimate owner, Mr Pfugari.
After that ruling, Government published a notice in which it expressed its intention to acquire the remainder of Whitecliff Farm for urban development.
Through his lawyers, Gula Ndebele and Partners, Mr Pfugari wrote to the Sheriff seeking the ejection of the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement and anyone claiming occupation through the ministry from the remainder of Whitecliff.
“Now therefore you are required and directed to eject the said Minister of Lands (and) Rural Resettlement and/or all persons claiming occupation through him, their goods and possession, from and out of all occupation and possession whatsoever of the said premises and to leave the same, to the end that the said Eddies Pfugari Properties (Private) Limited may peacefully enter into posses the same, and for doing so this shall be your warrant,” reads part of the ejection order.
The Sheriff last week served the residents in question with the notice of ejectment, which was served together with the court order advising them to vacate their houses and other properties by December 18.
Among properties served with ejectment papers are Knights Junior School and another school on the farm.
One of the directors of Knights Junior School, Mr Michael Tsikwa, yesterday said, “I am a tenant of the Ministry of Local Government; they should go and serve those papers to the ministry.”
A property owner in the area said he was mistakenly issued with a similar order although he bought land from Mr Pfugari.
“I have title deeds for my property I do not know why I am involved in this fight. Pfugari wants his Whitecliff back and my property happens to be in the farm.
“I am making efforts to have these eviction orders declared null and void,” he said.
Other settlers who were allocated land on the farm by Government were anxious about their future and some vowed to stay put until the state tells them what to do next.
Government built 300 houses in the area under Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle, while thousands others were allocated residential stands to build homes on their own.