GOVERNMENT, through Lands minister Perrance Shiri, has secured a writ of execution to evict Tetra Heights (PVT) Limited from the Gwaai Halfway Hotel and Service Station in Hwange in Matabeleland North.
BY SILAS NKALA
Gwaai Farm, Halfway Hotel and Service Station were owned by Rob Sterling, who was evicted during the land reform programme.
After Sterling’s eviction, his former employees continued running the hotel until the government brought in Tetra Heights, which recently lost a bid to run the hotel and service station.
Shiri recently filed summons against Tetra Heights seeking eviction of the company and all those who claim occupation of the hotel through it.
A writ of execution dated October 7 directed to the Sheriff of Zimbabwe reads: “Wherefore the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement obtained an order in the High Court of Zimbabwe on April 1, 2019 against Tetra Heights Gwaai Halfway in Hwange ordering him and all persons claiming through him to be ejected from and out of Gwaai Halfway Hotel at present occupied by the said Tetra Heights as appears on record. Now, therefore, you are required and directed to eject the said Tetra Heights and all persons claiming through him, his goods and possession from and out of all occupation and possession whatsoever of the said ground and/or promises and to leave the same to the end that the said minister … may peaceably enter into and possess the same and for so doing this shall be your warrant.”
On April 1 this year, Shiri obtained a default judgment from Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese to evict Tetra Heights from the Gwaai Halfway Hotel and Service Station.
However, Tetra Heights remained in occupation of the premises, prompting Shiri to secure a writ of execution to eject all those occupying the premises.
In the declaration of the claim, Shiri submitted that the property in question was formerly owned as one business entity together with the farm prior to the acquisition of the farm by the State.
“Upon acquisition of the farm, the ministry decided to exclude the hotel and service station from the remainder of the farm with the intention of creating a separate business entity which would be leased off to qualifying tenants who intended to utilise the same for business purposes. The remainder portion of the farm was left out to a qualified indigenous beneficiary to continue with the agricultural business,” the declaration reads.
“In an effort to find a suitable tenant for the hotel and service station, the ministry advertised an invitation to tender for the lease of both the hotel and service station. Many potential and interested tenants responded to the tender and placed bids within the prescribed timeframe. The defendant was part of the bidders for the tender.”
Shiri submitted that after considering all the bids and carrying out due diligence and investigations, the tender board granted the lease for the property in dispute to another bidder who is not the defendant.
“Despite having been furnished with the reasons for its failure to win bid and several demands by the plaintiff to vacate the said property, the defendant has failed, refused and/or neglected to vacate…” he submitted, indicating that this has left him with no option, but to seek a court order.