Minister ordered to compensate Kwekwe businessman

LOCAL Government minister July Moyo has been ordered to compensate a Kwekwe businessman, whose home was forcibly taken and allocated to former district administrator, Clara Muzenda.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

In 2005, the Kwekwe businessman Lucas Rungano bought flat 4A in Masasa Park, Kwekwe, from the ministry for $ZW 23 million, which purchase price he paid in full.
Later in the same year, the Ministry of Local Government wrote to Rungano informing him that they had cancelled the agreement of sale before allocating the flat to Muzenda.

Through his lawyer, Caroline Mugabe, Rungano said after cancelling the agreement, the ministry refused to repay the ZW$23 million, only to tell him six years later that the flat was legally his.

“On April 23, 2011 [Rungano] through his then legal practitioners was advised by officer [of Ministry of Local Government] that the agreement was still valid, by a letter confirming that he was the rightful owner.

“The correspondence also directed him to urgently call to the ministries offices and make payments for the processing of a deed of transfer,” he submitted in court.
Although Rungano made the payment required to the ministry, Muzenda, who has since left government, refused to vacate the flat leaving the businessman with no option but to seek a refund from Moyo.

In High court case HC2370/14, Rungano prayed to have Muzenda evicted or alternatively that he be refunded the full purchase price using the current market value of the property.

Justice Owen Tagu, in judgment 0163006, ordered Moyo’s ministry to pay $30 000, being the existing market value of the property and that the ministry also pay all legal costs.

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