A Bulawayo woman is reported to have taken possession of her late half brother’s house after purporting to be the living spouse.
The woman at the centre of the wrangle, Ms Alice Masuku, is a former presenter of a Radio Zimbabwe programme, Inhlupho Zanamhla, which focuses on socio-cultural and economic challenges faced by families and individuals, especially widows and the disadvantaged in the society.
According to court documents, Ms Masuku was born Alice Lunga and adopted the Masuku surname when her mother re-married.The wrangle has been dragging in the courts since the death of Mbizo Masuku, Ms Masuku’s half brother in 2002, according to court documents.
The estate at the centre of the wrangle is House Number 5209 Old Pumula, which the late Masuku inherited from his mother, Selina Muhali in 1983 as stated in the certification of occupation prepared in 1969.
The house initially belonged to Muhali’s previous husband and she appointed Masuku the heir as the only surviving son. In the certification of occupation, Ms Masuku is listed as Muhali’s daughter, who was born from her previous marriage before she married Masuku’s father.
Masuku was declared by a community court in Bulawayo in 1985 to be the heir to the estate and Ms Masuku testified as a witness.
Allegations are that Ms Masuku and her late half brother’s wife Ms Mavis Lunga-nee Mawoyo connived to fraudulently prepare documents purporting that the heir to the property, Mr Mike Natsho Masuku (now 52), who is the only son of the late Masuku and Ms Mawoyo-Lunga had died since his whereabouts according to them was unknown for about 20 years.
According to the documents, Masuku and Ms Mawoyo-Lunga were never married and only had a son together.
After allegedly misrepresenting that Mr Natsho Masuku did not even attend his father’s burial, Ms Masuku and her sister in-law allegedly got the nod from the courts and she was made the executor to the property and received in the final liquidation and distribution ZW$3 million and the house after forging documents to appear as the wife to the late Masuku in terms of the customary law marriage.
Mr Christopher Dube, who is the late Masuku’s nephew, has been living in the house since birth. He still lives there with the heir apparent Natsho Masuku who is now mentally challenged. He said his aunt Ms Masuku was taking advantage of Natsho’s condition and wanted to deprive him of his inheritance.
He said Ms Masuku and Natsho’s mother had attempted to sell the house on several occasions and people are still visiting the house with the intention of buying it after Ms Masuku changed ownership to her name.
“We appeal to responsible ministries of Home Affairs and that of Justice and Legal Affairs to intervene because there is a lot of injustice happening perpetrated by some people over the disadvantaged. People come to view the house everyday and we now prefer staying out to avoid this. We only realised that they had changed ownership when we noticed that the water bills were now coming in Ms Masuku’s name,” said Mr Dube.