Court stops parlour construction near food company

Source: Court stops parlour construction near food company -Newsday Zimbabwe

THE Supreme Court has upheld a High Court decision stopping the development of a funeral parlour in Pomona following objections from other property owners.

The company, Development Studio Africa (Pvt) Limited, had approached the Supreme Court challenging a High Court decision against the construction of the parlour.



In its application for appeal at the Supreme Court, the company cited Paza Buster Commodity Brokers, City of Harare Environmental Management Committee, director of works and City of Harare as respondents.

The application was heard by judges of appeal Justices Chinembiri Bhunu, Samuel Kudya and Lovendor Mwayera.

The court heard that Studio Africa applied to the City of Harare for a special consent permit for change of use of land to establish a funeral parlour on its property.

The director of works then issued a public notice in the Press in terms of the Planning Act.



Paza Buster and other property owners lodged objections against the establishment of the funeral parlour saying it would negatively affect their businesses.

The director of works then compiled the objections and forwarded them to Studio Africa to respond.

The company responded saying the environmental committee had authority to grant the permit since the City of Harare had delegated power to it.

On March 8, 2022, the environmental committee granted the permit in favour of Studio Africa.

Paza Buster, however, approached the High Court arguing that the committee did not have jurisdiction to permit Studio Africa to establish a funeral parlour.

The company also argued that the committee was not a local planning authority and had no legal basis to usurp the powers of the City of Harare.

But Studio Africa and the environmental management committee, the director of works and the City of Harare opposed the application.

The High Court upheld that the permit was improperly granted.

Aggrieved by the High Court decision, Studio Africa approached the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, however, upheld the High Court decision.

“The law permits the local planning authority to delegate its power and functions which it did not ensure in the present case. There is no evidence of such delegation of powers,” the judges said.

“The environmental management committee, not being a local planning authority and not being empowered by any law, had no jurisdiction to issue a permit in the circumstances.

“The High Court correctly detected the patently unlawful process conducted by the administrative authority and granted the review application for due process to be followed.”