THE High Court has barred the government, City of Harare and a private developer, Xgma Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, from subdividing and parcelling out residential stands at a privately-owned property in Pomona.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The land in question had been at the centre of an ownership dispute between property mogul, Ken Sharpe’s Augur Investments and Local Government ministry.
High Court judge, Justice Clement Phiri in a judgment last week, ordered Augur Investments to retain its land, saying it was illegal for the government and the local authority to grab the land and subdivide it.
The court heard that Harare City Council had given the land to Augur Investments after the latter agreed to construct the Airport Road.
“Based on the aforesaid representations by the first respondent (Local Government ministry) clearly demonstrates that the fourth respondent (Xgma Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd) evinces a clear and deliberate, intention to despoil the applicant (Augur Investment) of its rights. Such conduct is, in the court’s view, unlawful, and accordingly the applicant’s peaceful and undisturbed possession of all the stand in dispute should be and is, hereby, restated,” Justice Phiri said.
“In the circumstances, this court grants the interim order; that the first, second, third and fourth respondents be and are, hereby, ordered to restate peaceful and undisturbed possession of Stand 654 Pomona Township of the applicant forthwith.
“… respondents be and are, hereby, ordered not to interfere, in any manner whatsoever, with the applicants’ peaceful and undisturbed possession of Stand 654 Pomona Township including further subdividing, servicing and selling of stands to third parties.”
The judge said it was clear that the ministry had no authority to alleviate the land in dispute without the consent of the private owner.
“The first respondent (ministry) took the law into its own hands and unilaterally disposed the applicant (Augur Investment) of its possession and control of the title deed and the stand, which was placed in the applicant’s custody by the second respondent (City of Harare),” Justice Phiri said.
“This court does not condone the actions of the first respondent in resorting to self-help without recourse to the provisions laid out in the aforesaid agreement and or through the courts.”
Augur Investment was represented by Nelson Chamisa.