A local non-governmental organisation Childline Zimbabwe has approached the courts in a bid to eject LOC Distributors (Private) Limited, a company owned by Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda from their building.
Sibanda’s company has allegedly been refusing to vacate the premises bought by Childline Zimbabwe in July 2017.On July 27, 2017, Childline Zimbabwe through their lawyers Coghlan and Welsh wrote to LOC Distributors, giving them three months’ notice following the purchase of the building that Sibanda’s company was renting.
“Please note that we represent Childline Zimbabwe. Kindly note our interest therein. We wish to advise that our client has purchased the property that you occupy, that is Stand 998 Bulawayo Township or number 8 Herbert Chitepo Street from Mrs Irene Vas.
“Our client would like occupation of the same for its own use. Accordingly we are instructed, as we hereby do, to give you three (3) calendar months’ notice from the 1st of August 2017 to the 31st of October 2017. On that date you are to move out of the premises and hand over the keys to ourselves for onward transmission to Childline,” reads part of the letter from Coghlan and Welsh.
At the end of the notice period, Childline Zimbabwe approached the courts seeking ejection of LOC Distributors. The NGO also wanted LOC Distributors to pay $900 in respect of three months’ rentals for the period of serving notice as well to pay “the costs of the suit at an attorney and client scale”.
The company entered a notice of appearance to defend on November 23, 2017 and also filed a counter claim.
LOC Distributors denied that Childline Zimbabwe were the rightful owners of the property, arguing that “the reason being that the defendant (LOC Distributors) was given an option to purchase the property in question by the previous owner (Irene Vas)”.LOC Distributors also said they didn’t vacate the premises after the end of the notice period alleging they had agreed with Mrs Vas that they were going to purchase the property and prayed for the court to dismiss Childline Zimbabwe’s claim with costs.
In their counter claim, the company attached summons with the effect that they wanted the previous owner Mrs Vas to pay a total of $26,384,00 “being the fair reasonable value of unnecessary improvements carried out” at the property.
According to court papers, Childline Zimbabwe are arguing that LOC Distributors entered appearance to defend “to waste time as, clearly, the respondent has no defence to claim”.
Childline Zimbabwe said since LOC Distributors had approached the High Court seeking claims for development of the property from Mrs Vas, the claim against them is invalid.
LOC Distributors are represented by Liberty Mcijo and Associates. The Chronicle