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Elderly woman in soup over rental arrears

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The summons state, in part, that in seven days after issuance of the summons, Rogers must file a notice of intention to defend or answer to the claim.

BY NKOSENTSHA KHUMALO AN elderly Bulawayo woman residing at Jubilee Home for aged couples has been dragged to court by Coronation Cottages over rental arrears amounting to $64 500 for Flat T2.

Coronation Cottages is represented by lawyers Lazarus and Sarif in suing Leta Rogers (68).

The summons state, in part, that in seven days after issuance of the summons, Rogers must file a notice of intention to defend or answer to the claim.

“The plaintiff’s claim against the defendant is for an order for the eviction of the defendant and all those claiming occupation through her from Flat T2, Coronation Cottages, Queens Road, Bulawayo. Payment in the sum of $64 544 being rental arrears,” the summons read.

The plaintiff wants damages in the sum of US$60 or the equivalent in Zimbabwean dollars for each month the defendant remains in occupation of the flat.

They also want Rogers evicted.

“The defendant has been in occupation of Flat T2 since December 2014 through a lease agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant,” the claim read.

Rentals for the flat are US$60 per month or the equivalent in Zimbabwean dollars.

The plaintiff noted that Rogers had been paying rentals erratically, depositing any sum she saw fit, but never paying the full sum.

“Despite the non-payment of rentals, the defendant has remained in occupation of Flat T2. Despite demand, the defendant has failed, neglected or refused to pay rental arrears to plaintiff,” the claim read.

“Wherefore, plaintiff prays for judgment against the defendant for an order for eviction of defendant and all those claiming occupation through her from Flat T2, payment of $64 544 being rental arrears and holdover damages in the sum of US$60 and costs of suit.”

Old-aged couples at Coronation Cottages, who are mostly pensioners, get about $10 000 per month, and are living under dire conditions, coupled with ill-treatment.

The committee in charge of the residence recently threatened to drastically increase rentals in order to run the premises efficiently as well as pay gardeners, who are paid about US$300 per month.

Rogers responded to the summons through her lawyer indicating her intention to defend the suit in court saying her residential flat was T16 and not T2 as stated in the summons.

The summons specified that the Coronation Cottages management committee had written to her stating that they do not fall under the Rent Board; hence she had referred the issue to Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube.

She submitted that the Rent Board has been closed for almost a year and in March 2022, Ncube requested the Office of the President and Cabinet to reopen the Rent Board offices.

The matter is set for hearing next week.

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