A LOCAL property developer, Transect Investments, was on Monday convicted of contempt of court and ordered to pay a $500 fine, while its two directors were slapped with 90-day imprisonment, which was suspended on condition the firm constructs, a duplex garden flat in Greendale, Harare, within 90-days, for its client.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The order was made by High Court judge Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo after the applicant in the matter, Moreblessings Chidaushe, through her lawyer Andrew Makoni, approached the court for recourse after failing to reach an agreement with Transect Investments’ directors Josephat Sagonda and Mwaita Grace Masuku.
“The first respondent (Transect Investments) be and is hereby sentenced to pay a fine of $500 for contempt of court.
The second and thirrd respondents (Sagonda and Masuku) be and are, hereby, sentenced to 90 days imprisonment at Harare Central Prison, suspended on condition that the first respondent completes and delivers to applicant (Chidaushe) a two-bedroomed duplex garden flat . . .” she said.
Makoni had submitted that the two directors were in violation of a court order granted last July by High Court judge, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi, ordering the property firm and its directors to construct and hand over a two-bedroomed duplex flat within nine months.
According to Chidaushe, in her founding affidavit attached to the court papers, sometime in July 2014, she reached a settlement with Sagonda and Masuku after filing court papers demanding action by the property firm.
Chidaushe said it was part of the agreement, which was later confirmed by the court and became binding, that Transect Investments, would construct a duplex garden flat for her within a nine-month period from the date of the order, which was July 16, 2014.
She further said it was agreed that she would pay $5 000 for builders’ wages.
When she paid deposit, Sagonda and Masuku pretended they were about to start construction of the flat, but later abandoned the project prompting her to consult her lawyers.
“The nine months period stipulated in the consent order of costs expired on or about March 15, 2015. To date, no development has taken place at the site, in a clear violation of the court order. The first respondent had the cheek to remove the pile of bricks which had been put on site to other priority sites,” Chidaushe said.
“I must state that the first respondent has similar housing projects scattered around Harare. Some have been completed, while others are at different stages of development.”
After listening to the submissions by Makoni, Justice Matanda-Moyo convicted the firm and its two directors, giving them a 90-day ultimatum.