Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
The chairperson of Goromonzi housing co-operative Oswell Gwanzura allegedly defied a High Court order barring him from occupying or selling a private owned land, which he later subdivided and allocated stands to unsuspecting home seekers.
Gwanzura appeared in court last week facing contempt of court charges following the High Court order issued in 2014.
He was remanded in custody to today for bail application. It is the State’s case that sometime in 2001 Hofmoor Estate stand number 19833 in Ruwa measuring 598 096 hectares was gazetted by the Government for acquisition under the Land Reform Programme and during the same year, the farm was delisted from compulsory acquisition after it was discovered that it was a private land owned by Solomio Private Limited.
The court heard that in 2006, equipped with approval letters from the office of the governor for Harare Metropolitan Province, Gwanzura and about 450 residents of Ruwa town went and settled at the farm and engaged in peri urban farming.
In 2012 five housing cooperatives were formed and registered before applying for land from the Ministry of Lands and their applications were approved.
The land was later handed over to the Ministry of Local government, which then appointed a developer Glorious Properties.
The decision was contested by Solomio Private limited at the High Court in 2014 and a court order was granted in its favour ordering the developer Glorious Properties and all those acting through it be and permanently interdicted from developing, selling, occupying and or possessing the estate without a valid court order.
They also applied for the eviction of the five housing cooperatives and all those who were claiming occupation through the consortium, which was under the leadership of Gwanzura, the court heard.
Instead, Gwanzura, it is alleged proceeded to create an unapproved layout plan and subdivided the land and allocated stands to home seekers from 2015 to this year.