BY SILAS NKALA
Mahlaba Housing Programme, a land developer trading by the name of River Valley Properties and owned by a Midlands-based Zanu PF stalwart Smelly Dube, has won an interdict against four disgruntled home seekers.
Dube has been embroiled in a nasty legal wrangle with four home seekers, who had resorted to demonstrating and picketing at her company’s offices, protesting over flopped land deals.
Douglas Tanyanyiwa and three others were demanding land which they had contractually sought to acquire and develop through the land developer after the deal appeared to be sinking.
The property developer filed an urgent High Court chamber application seeking an interdict, barring the residents from camping, demonstrating and picketing at its offices.
A recent judgement passed by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva seen by Southern Eye upheld the River Valley Properties application.
“The respondents be and are hereby permanently interdicted from gathering or assembling at applicant’s business premises situated at River Valley Properties Offices, 4th and G Silundika Street Bulawayo, to demonstrate, picket or violently demand perfect land in terms of contracts between applicant and all the respondents. Each party to bear its own costs,” ruled Takuva.
In its application, River Valley Properties submitted that it is a corporate body in the business of residential housing development and land development for purposes aforesaid.
“Applicant entered into contracts with respondents at various times, … that it would acquire and avail land for development of housing for the benefit of the respondents. However, it
is beyond applicant’s control (that circumstances) have not permitted applicant to deliver timely,” the company submitted.
“Disputes have risen between applicant and respondents.”
The company said the residents decided to demand fulfillment of their contracts by assembling and demonstrating at its offices, invading its rights and its employees’ rights to peaceful operation in the process.
In her founding affidavit, Smelly Dube said she is the director of the company and operates in various towns, cities and growth points. She said relations between his company and the
concerned residents were governed by laws of contract.
“There has been complaint’s and disputes associated with the company’s alleged failure to deliver it terms of the individual contracts with the individual subscribers,” she submitted.
She said there have been changes in the economic environment that has impacted on the company’s terms of delivery per contract and hence the disputes with the subscribers.
She submitted that the respondents were aggrieved by the seemingly slow progress in the company’s delivery as per contract, adding that the group communicated with each other via a
WhatsApp and made resolutions, which were telephonically conveyed to the company that they were going to violently confront the company.
She said they resorted to gathering at the company offices from March 15 to demonstrate and picket for a long time until the company pays back their money, thereby disturbing
“The respondents have threatened harm on our employees if they are found at the offices and should they fail to provide satisfactory explanations,” Dube submitted.
She said she feared the respondents would turn violent, hence the application for interdict.
The disgruntled residents did not file a challenge to the interdict.