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Former minister in property wrangle

Former deputy minister of Industry and International Trade, Phineas Chiota, is embroiled in a bitter wrangle with a Harare woman over a property in the northern suburbs.

High Court of Zimbabwe
High Court of Zimbabwe

Sarudzayi Nhundu has approached the High Court challenging eviction from her Borrowdale property, known as stand number 139 Rietfontein.

Chiota and the Sheriff for Zimbabwe are cited as respondents.
“In or around January 2006, I considered selling my home and began to advertise the property for sale.

“On or about January 25, 2006, the first respondent (Chiota) came to my house to view the property and asked me to accompany him to CABS head office, Highlands where he was going to apply for a loan to purchase the home from me.

“At the bank, the first respondent and I were advised by bank personnel to instruct legal practitioners to prepare a comprehensive agreement of sale to attach to his application for a mortgage facility.

“First respondent desperate to complete the sale on that day, managed to persuade the bank teller to disregard protocol and to furnish him with a basic agreement of sale which was downloaded from the Internet as we waited,” Nhundu said in her court papers.

She said an agreement of sale was hurriedly prepared and signed on the day, stating that the purchase price of the property was (Zimbabwean dollars) Z$28 billion.

It was further agreed that if Chiota was to fail to observe the terms of the agreement, Nhundu was entitled to cancel the agreement.

“On January 30, 2006, I gave written notice to the first respondent and to CABS Bank of my election to cancel the agreement of sale,” Nhundu said, adding that she was shocked to see Chiota coming with police officers and the Sheriff seeking to evict her this month.

“I only became aware of the first respondent’s intention to eject me from my home on the night of May 10, 2018, upon the arrival of officials from the second respondent (Sheriff for Zimbabwe) together with around 15 Zimbabwe Republic Police officers and from a private security firm,” she said.

Nhundu said she only realised that Chiota had secured two court judgments against her, when she approached her lawyers.

One judgment was for the cancellation of the agreement of sale and the other for her ejectment.

“First respondent had also transferred the property into his name under Deed No. 3005/2007 dated June 5, 2007.

“This came as a great surprise to me for the following reasons: I have remained in possession and occupation of stand 139 Rietfontein, Rietfontein Township, Harare since I purchased the property in July

“I did not at any point in time receive any payment of the purchase price from the first respondent.

“First respondent therefore obtained judgments in case numbers HC 3368/07 and 624/06 on the basis of the fundamental misrepresentation to the court that he had paid the purchase price,” Nhundu said.

She said the only time Chiota had attempted to pay the purchase price was in 2007, 17 months after he had represented to the court that he had paid her. Daily News