BY CHARLES LAITON
A CHINESE firm has approached the High Court seeking to recover US$86 000 given to a local woman after she misrepresented that her voluntary organisation owns a piece of land where the company later constructed two classroom blocks as part of its corporate social responsibility.
China Industrial International Group (Pvt) Ltd recently filed summons against Julia Muvuti, who is a trustee of the Elite Children’s Foundation, which is a private voluntary organisation (PVO) registered as such under PVO 37/16.
Julia’s husband, one Muvuti, is also a trustee of the organisation.
In its declaration, the firm said in furtherance of its social responsibility programme, it sought to assist underprivileged and handicapped children and by so doing, it engaged the registrar of PVOs to register a private organisation, but its request was turned down.
The firm further said it was then advised to partner with an already registered PVO and in the process, it identified Elite Children’s Foundation, whose trustees are the Muvutis of house number 1029 Gari Close, Mandara in Harare.
Through Julia, Elite Children’s Foundation is said to have misrepresented to China Industrial International officials that her voluntary organisation owned a piece of land in Goromonzi measuring 10 hectares, being a subdivision of Mayfair Farm, allocated to it by government under the land reform programme.
“On the strength of the representation by the defendant (Julia Muvuti), the plaintiff (China Industrial International) agreed and proceeded to erect two classroom blocks which can accommodate 80 persons with disabilities, and two offices in Goromonzi. The buildings are complete and ready for occupation,” the company said.
“When the plaintiff planned the official opening of the buildings on October 1, 2019, the plaintiff discovered that the land did not belong to Elite Children’s Foundation or its trustees and or directors of the defendant. The land was allocated to BA Kiplin under the land reform programme.”
As a result of the misrepresentation, the firm said it suffered patrimonial loss amounting to US$86 000, being the value of improvements it effected on the Goromonzi land and, as such, it was now seeking an order to compel Elite Children’s Foundation and its trustee to compensate for the loss.
The voluntary organisation and its trustee are yet to respond to the summons.