By Tarisai Machakaire
A registrar from the Deeds Office yesterday testified in court that businessman Frank Buyanga who has been at the centre of an alleged fraudulent house sale was in fact the legal property owner.
According to Ellen Runyararo Mawire, title deeds held at her office in respect of the property in question were legally registered in Buyanga’s name but the registrar had rejected Bishop Jeche’s (the now accused person) attempt to move the property into his name.
Jeche and his company East Rivet are appearing before Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya charged with perjury and fraud after allegedly lying under oath that they had become property owners after buying the house at $35 000 from Buyanga.
The court heard that Steven Nyoka was subsequently evicted from the property consequent to Jeche’s action.
Nyoka claims that after receiving a $19 000 loan from Buyanga his property valued at $130 000 was reportedly later sold in breach of an agreement the parties entered.
Testifying before Mujaya yesterday Mawire said the registrar required a conveyancer to bring an old deed, draft of the new deed, declaration by purchaser, rates clearance certificates and stamp duty for transfer of immovable property from one person to the other.
She said the documents would go through a vetting process before being signed or rejected by the registrar of deeds.
“If the documentation had any queries it would be rejected and the deed I have here id number 974/2010 indicates that Orton Drift which is Buyanga’s company is the owner of the property,”Mawire said.
“However, transfer was rejected because in 2010 when East River approached our offices the then attorney general through Chris Mutangadura had given us instructions barring our offices from transferring any of Buyanga’s properties because there were pending issues in court.
“According to records held at our office the house belongs to Orton Drift and although East Rivet made efforts it was rejected and no deed was transferred.”
Jeche’s lawyer, Admire Rubaya, was delighted by the fact that the deeds office had discredited Nyoka as the legal owner of the property.
His argument was that there are documents reflecting that Orton Drift had sold the house to East River and that sale was actually endorsed on the deed of transfer although it had been rejected.
“As it stands and with authority you can tell that Nyoka is not the owner of the property in question? It was since transferred from Nyoka to East River? There has been no court order which stopped transfer from Orton Drift to East River?” DailyNews