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Land developer, City Council accused of fleecing dozens through bogus Donnybrook stands

By Zim Morning Post

A land developer has been arraigned before the High Court for fraudulently selling an estimated 500 stands in Mabvuku to desperate home seekers with the support of corrupt officials from the Harare City Council.

Several individuals, have filed summons at the High Court against Tinbon Investments located at No. 22 George Silundika Street, 2nd Floor, Morgan House, Harare as well as the Harare City Council, demanding refunds after purchasing stands in Donnybrook, Mabvuku.

Among the individuals who are demanding refunds is Robson Chishanga who suffered a loss of US$56, 213.22, Chakanyuka Nyazenga who suffered pecuniary damages totaling US$35,600 and Norman Chipangura suffered damages to the tune of US$11,569.

Tinbon Investments is said to have informed the individuals “that it was given authority to sell 500 stands from the Harare City Council and was going to develop the stands as specified by the Harare City Council in terms of its Housing Policy.”

Allegations are that during the period between December 2017 and December 2018, Plaintiffs purchased stands in Donnybrook, Mabvuku.

“On the 21st March 2017, Harare City Council issued the Provisional Block Allocation of 500 unserviced residential stands which was used by the 2ⁿᵈ Defendant (Tinbon Investments) to sell the stands to the Plaintiffs. On the 6’ʰ September 2017, the final allocation of stands was confirmed and the intrinsic value was specified to be US$4.00 per square metre,” reads summons filed the aggrieved parties.

“Harare City Council advised Applicants upon purchase of the stands that the offer was irrevocable and that construction of super structures should commence immediately after payment of certain amount as deposit. As a matter of fact, Plaintiffs were made to believe that the stands were ready to build.”

“On the strength of block allocation by Harare City Council, communication from the 2ⁿᵈ Defendant (Tinbon Investments) and payment of intrinsic value, 2ⁿᵈ Defendant confirmed that the sale of the stands to the Applicants were legal and lawful. The Applicants were advised by the 2nᵈ Defendant to develop their stands at the time of unlawful demolitions by the 1ˢᵗ Defendant, Plaintiffs lived with their families in these respective homes.”

To ensure the authenticity of what Tinbon Investments informed them, the home seekers were invited by Harare City Council to attend “Residential Stands Allocation Interview” which were also conducted by city council authorities after a certain payment at their offices at Remembrance House respectively.

It is further alleged that after paying the required deposit to Tinbon Investments, the home seekers were called to attend an official Residential Allocation Interview.

“Harare City Council did not, at any point, advise Plaintiffs that the development that was being carried out at the stands were illegal. In all intents, constructions and purposes 1ˢᵗ and 2ndDefendants led Plaintiffs to reasonably believe that all was lawful,” the aggrieved parties said.

“Somewhere in September 2020 Applicants received a communication from the 1ˢᵗ Defendant (Harare City Council) with a heading “Notice In terms of Clause 18 (2) of the Urban Councils (Use and Occupation of Land and Buildings) By-Laws 1979: VACATE MUNICIPAL LAND”. The notice was, and remains unlawful.”

Harare City Council, through its agents, descended on the applicant’s property with bulldozers and graders, and razed down their homes with everything that was in them basing on that said notice of demolition.

The home seekers say the demonstrations were illegal as there was no court order.

The matter is yet to be heard. Zim Morning Post