Ka­sukuwere em­broiled in land row

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

LO­CAL Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter Saviour Ka­sukuwere has been taken to court for con­tempt to­gether with the Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion af­ter they sub-di­vided a con­tested piece of land in Pomona into res­i­den­tial stands which they sold.

Augur In­vest­ments wants Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere and Ud­corp chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Bright Mudzvova to be held in con­tempt of a High Court or­der af­ter they were in­ter­dicted from sub-di­vid­ing and sell­ing Stand 654 of Pomona Town­ship, Harare, mea­sur­ing 250 hectares.

In the court in­ter­dict, Augur In­vest­ments cited the re­spon­dents as Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere (first), Harare City Coun­cil (sec­ond), Ud­corp (third) and XGMA (fifth).

High Court judge Jus­tice Cle­ment Phiri last De­cem­ber or­dered that Chi­nese com­pany XGMA, the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­istry and Ud­corp stop sub-di­vid­ing and sell­ing the land which Augur law­fully re­ceived from Harare City Coun­cil as part of the pay­ment for con­struc­tion of Joshua Nkomo Ex­press­way (Air­port Road) and other var­i­ous projects it car­ried out for the lo­cal author­ity un­der a writ­ten agree­ment.

Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere was once quoted in the me­dia claim­ing that the deals, which were con­cluded dur­ing his pre­de­ces­sor’s reign, Dr Ig­natius Chombo, were ir­reg­u­larly done and he would launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing Augur In­vest­ments, Chi­nawa Law Cham­bers, yes­ter­day filed court pa­pers to have Mr Mudzvova held to be in con­tempt of court for con­tin­u­ing to in­ter­fere with its pos­ses­sion of the prop­erty as it had con­tin­ued to sell land to un­sus­pect­ing res­i­dents.

“De­spite the clear, un­equiv­o­cal and un­am­bigu­ous terms of the or­der granted, the re­spon­dents ex­hib­ited bla­tant dis­re­gard and con­tempt of this Hon­ourable Court in that they have con­tin­ued to carry out the very same acts com­plained of and or­dered against by this Hon­ourable Court,” reads the pa­pers filed by Augur In­vest­ments di­rec­tor, Mr Mike Van Blerk.

Mr Blerk said Ud­corp at­tempted to sell land to Mr Mandla Nde­bele where he was called on April 6 2017 to come to their of­fices to dis­cuss sale trans­ac­tion.

Mr Nde­bele, ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers, paid $25 as an ad­min­is­tra­tion fee and was taken by Ud­corp of­fi­cials on April 10, 2017 to view the stand be­fore he was ad­vised by se­cu­rity at the site that the prop­erty be­longed to Augur In­vest­ments.

“The re­spon­dents have demon­strated a brazen in­dif­fer­ence to the author­ity of this Hon­ourable Court by dis­re­gard­ing the or­der of this Court,” reads the court pa­pers.

“I am ad­vised that the crime of con­tempt of court is com­mit­ted in­ten­tion­ally and in re­la­tion to ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice in the courts. The ob­ject of pro­ceed­ings for con­tempt is to pun­ish dis­obe­di­ence, so as to en­force an or­der of court and in par­tic­u­lar, or­ders to do so or ab­stain from do­ing a par­tic­u­lar act, like the present or­der.”

Augur In­vest­ments said fail­ure by Ud­corp to com­ply with the or­der would ren­der it with­out rem­edy.

“It is, there­fore, clear that the re­spon­dents, un­less the Court de­scends heav­ily upon them, will con­tinue to un­der­mine the author­ity of this Hon­ourable Court by dis­claim­ing and dis­re­gard­ing its or­ders, thereby je­or­pa­dis­ing the in­tegrity of this court in the eyes of the lit­i­gat­ing pub­lic,” said Mr Blerk.

The Min­istry is ap­peal­ing the de­ci­sion in the Supreme Court on the grounds that Augur did not com­plete Air­port Road project.

In an op­pos­ing af­fi­davit, the min­istry’s per­ma­nent sec­re­tary En­gi­neer Ge­orge Mlilo, said Gov­ern­ment had re­pos­sessed the land be­cause Augur In­vest­ments did not fin­ish one of the jobs, a road con­struc­tion project even­tu­ally taken over by the Zim­bawe Na­tional Roads Author­ity.

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