By Victor Maphosa
Former Cabinet minister Nyasha Chikwinya is trying to evict 109 families settled on a 150-hectare piece of land at Glen Forest Farm in Harare after she gave up her offer letter for the land upon receiving a new piece as compensation.
The court has since provisionally set aside the writ of ejection, effectively stopping Chikwinya from evicting the families.
Her attempt to return to the 150-hectare piece came after she had exhausted her new 80-hectare piece of land, which she sub-divided into residential stands, Justice Clement Phiri heard.
The families, members of Mama Mafuyana Housing Cooperative, were recently served with eviction notices, with Chikwinya intending to demolish their houses.
While the case is pending, Chikwinya claimed she was locked out of her farm and obtained an order restoring her occupancy.
On the strength of the order, Chikwinya obtained a writ of ejection against the cooperative members and its chairman Mr Boniface Mutize.
The membership had been served with ejection notices pondering the next move.
The cooperative, through its lawyer Mr Advent Tavenhave of Tavenhave & Machingauta Legal Practitioners, contested the writ, arguing it was fraudulently acquired.
They argued that Chikwinya had no legal right to stay on the land because she had since been allocated another 84 hectares as compensation after the withdrawal of her offer letter in respect of the disputed piece of land.
After selling stands on the 84 hectares of land, the lawyers argued, Chikwinya remained on the disputed land, intending to subdivide more stands for sale.
Mr Oliver Marwa of Rubaya & Chatambudza Legal Practitioners represented Chikwinya in the urgent chamber application.
Justice Phiri ruled in favour of the desperate families and stopped the evictions.
“Pending the return date, the second respondent (Sheriff of Zimbabwe) be and is hereby ordered to stay execution of a writ of ejectment issued under HC6259/19,” he said.
Chikwinya was ordered to pay costs of suit on a punitive scale.
According to the court papers filed at the High Court, the cooperative was in 2003 offered the remainder of Glen Forest of Borrowdale Estate, measuring 150 hectares by the Ministry of Local Government and National Housing, in terms of Section 3 of the Urban Development Act for urban settlement.
The land was surveyed and the Department of Physical Planning approved the layout of 109 stands in terms of the Regional, Town Country Planning Act Chapter 29:12. The Herald