By Daniel Nemukuyu
Former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru has clashed with the executor to her late husband General Solomon Mujuru’s estate over the sale of a mansion in Hogerty Hill, Harare, which she argues is matrimonial property.
Dr Mujuru wants the executor Mr Stern Mufara to be removed from managing the estate, saying he had illegally sold the “matrimonial” home, which is a preserve of the surviving spouse.
She has filed an application at the High Court seeking an order declaring Stand Numbers 95 and 96 Powlett Drive, Hogerty Hill as matrimonial property.
The politician, who now leads the People’s Rainbow Coalition, also wants nullification of the sale of the property to Smartvest Wealth Managers Private Limited.
Mr Mufara, Smartvest, Master of High Court and 12 children of the late nationalist were listed as respondents in the court application.
In her affidavit, Dr Mujuru stated that she customarily married the late national hero in 1979 before solemnisation of the union in 1984.
She claims to have jointly acquired the property with her now late husband in 1981 together with several other properties, with some only registered in the name of the late Gen Mujuru.
Dr Mujuru claimed she stayed at the property until her elevation to the position of the country’s Vice President.
According to Dr Mujuru, she left the property for a more spacious home in Chisipite, befitting her status since she had not been allocated a State house in time.
On that basis, she argued that the property remained the couple’s matrimonial property despite moving to Chisipite.
“I must make it clear for the avoidance of doubt that my stay at the Chisipite house was to be on a temporary basis and would be in tandem with the duration of my appointment as the Vice President of the country, which tenure of office was not on a permanent basis, the recent events in the history of the Government of Zimbabwe would tell.
“For all intents and purposes, I continued to regard Number 95-96 Powlett Drive, Hogerty Hill, Harare as my matrimonial home, it remained my place of domicile as I took temporary residence at the Chisipite property during the currency of my employment status,” read the affidavit.
Dr Mujuru said she had earlier consented to the sale of the property before making a U-turn after realising that the price was unreasonably low.
“Although I had initially agreed to the Hogerty Hill property being sold, I then rescinded my consent to the agreement that the property be sold,” she said.
The politician said she later instructed her lawyers to write to Mr Mufara informing him that the property was a matrimonial home and that it was not supposed to be sold, but there was no response.
Dr Mujuru said the property was sold without her being afforded an opportunity to be heard first.
“I was not even afforded an opportunity to make presentations in motivation of my objection to any intended future sale of the property and neither did the first respondent comment on the effect of my actions in rescinding my consent to the initial agreement that the Hogerty Hill property could be sold.
“I submit that the actions of first respondent (executor) are not in accordance with principles of natural justice and the dictates of the law,” she said.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing at the High Court. The Herald