Time Bank shareholders fight to reclaim land

Time Bank Zimbabwe shareholders have made an urgent chamber application at the High Court for stay of execution pending determination by the Constitutional Court for its application for leave to appeal against two court rulings.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

TBIC Investments is in a tussle with Kennedy Mangenje over the ownership of land in Goromonzi district.

TBIC acquired the land in 1999. In 2003, TBIC got approval for the change of land use from agriculture to residential. The farm was compulsorily acquired by government in 2005 under the land reform programme on the basis that it was agricultural land. It was then offered to Mangenje when Didymus Mutasa was the Lands and State Security minister.

In his founding affidavit, TBIC Investments director Kilian Kapaso said he was seeking stay of execution of judgments handed down by the Supreme Court and the High Court on March 1, 2018 and October 30, 2013 respectively pending the determination by the Constitutional Court on their application for leave to appeal.

Kapaso said the execution of the High Court and Supreme judgments implies and entails the cancellation of Deed Transfer Number 1724/2009 registered in favour of TBIC on March 18, 2009. He said the execution of the judgments would result in the transfer of its immovable property known as the remaining extent of Stunt to the President of Zimbabwe and the ejectment of the applicants and “all those claiming rights of occupation through them from the already mentioned immovable property”.

Kapaso said if the land, measuring 583,1360 hectares, was transferred to the State, Mangenje and many other persons would occupy the land and cause irreparable harm to TBIC.

“The immovable property is now residential land which has been properly surveyed. It will be used for agricultural purposes and all the beacons, pegs and other property installed and fixed by TBIC will be removed or destroyed,” he said.

“The first applicant [TBIC] has sold to bona fide third parties some of the residential stands created in terms of subdivision permit issued to the 1st applicant by government.”

In an earlier letter to Magenje dated May 22, 2018 seeking for an out of court settlement to resolve the impasse, Kapaso said the closure of Time Bank meant that TBIC could not submit to the courts evidence that the land in question had its land use changed as the documents were at the bank.

He said without that documentary evidence, the court had ruled in Mangenje’s favour. Kapaso said by the time TBIC had all the necessary documents after the resolution of the dispute between the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Time Bank, the court deadlines for the submission of responses had lapsed.


2 Comments

  1. TBIC just trying to be too clever with the intention of defeating a government programme, why would TBIC go and make a deal with the former farm owner after the land has been gazzetted for acquisition. Imagine similar deals were also done regarding gazzetted land eg Southley Park, and now people being made to pay exorbitant sums to the ‘so clever’ guys. Fact that the land in question was compulsorily acquired means its ownership squarely rests with the State. To whom the land is allocated is the discretion of the state. He Mangenje is also a victim, he has his farm compulsorily acquired by government. Imagine if all of us had entered into such deals, the Land Reform programme was not going to be realized. Why would TBIC proceed to subdivide the land while it was under contestation (before the courts). Of course admittedly, the land Reform programme could have been done better. It had lots of its own shortcomings especially with regards to the beneficiaries. TBIC should eat its humble pie. Constitutionally they won’t win it.

  2. The writer (Constitutional Expert) has missed the point completely, both in terms of facts and points of Law. The property was bought by TBIC in 1999, well before the Land Reform program began in 2000. TBIC changed its land use from Agricultural Land to Township Land in 2003 before Government purportedly acquired it in 2005 as Agricultural Land under Section 16B (2) of the former Constitution enacted in 2005. The point to note is only Agricultural Land could be acquired by Government under such Law not Township Land as is the case for TBIC Land. The Government itself confirmed that it erroneously acquired this land and withdrew the Offer Letter of Mr Mangenje, but up to today Mr Mangenje is still objecting to the withdrawal of his Offer Letter. Unfortunately TBIC was prevented by RBZ to access and thereafter present such documentary evidence to the Courts which would confirm that the said land was Township Land because RBZ had unlawfully closed Time Bank, which bank was keeping such documents in their Safe Custody. Hence the issue is not about defeating the intentions of the Land Reform program, but correcting some mistakes of this noble and necessary program in our Country, in order to have Justice for ALL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.