President Robert Mugabe’s top aide, Innocent Tizora and Mt Pleasant legislator, Jason Passade (Zanu PF) have been dragged into a land wrangle, where they are accused of trying to wrest prime property earmarked for residential development from a war veteran.
Source: Mugabe aide in land row – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 23, 2016
by Everson Mushava
Tizora, the director of State residences, and Passade were said to be initially roped in by war veteran, Adwell Chiminya in his dispute with ex-banker, Nyasha Makuvise and Masimba Msipa over what is known as the remainder of Echo Farm, on the north eastern fringes of Harare.
Chiminya claims he sought Tizora’s help to resolve his dispute with Makuvise and Msipa before Passade was also brought in as an intermediary amid a flurry of meetings reportedly at State House in Harare.
According to Chiminya, Passade now claimed ownership after allegedly undercutting the former freedom fighter.
“We wanted to see President Mugabe. Tizora promised to resolve the matter before it got to the President. He told us not to report the matter to the media, as he tried to resolve it.
“He first appointed Misheck Katuruza to mediate. We had seven meetings at State House and we have minutes of the meetings,” Chiminya claimed.
“But we were surprised later to see that Passade was already on the ground, paving roads. When we queried this, he rushed to secure a court interdict against us, saying we were interfering with his work.”
Tizora was not answering his phone and did not respond to messages sent on his mobile, while Passade claimed he bought the land from Msipa, the owner of Crowhill Properties in a partnership with Temba Hlongwane.
“I am going to sue you,” Passade threatened.
“And we are going to get him (Chiminya) arrested for interfering with me. In fact, I have already spoken to my seniors and papers are being prepared to have him arrested. He cannot drag names of senior people into the mud like that.”
Passade claimed Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere was behind Chiminya’s fight, alleging he also wanted land from Crowhill Properties, which he was denied.
Kasukuwere, however, rubbished Passade’s claims. “He (Passade) is mad. Investigate and get to
the bottom of the story,” he challenged.
Makuvise said: “I am the owner of the farm (remainder of Echo — Borrowdale Estate) because I bought the company (Gilson Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd) which had freehold title.”
However, investigations showed Makuvise did not even appear on the name of directors for Gilson Enterprises, whose directors are still the white former owners.
Hlongwane referred questions to his lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero, who said Makuvise was the owner of the land after buying Gilson Enterprises.
“The issue is clear in terms of the law; if Chiminya has a problem, he should approach the court to set aside the deed.
“We are past the age where people can just invade others’ property and claim that since they are war veterans, they are entitled to any piece of land. If the land is his, why is he not on the land?” Dzvetero asked rhetorically.
He said Chiminya’s offer letter had been overtaken by events, as the land has been changed from agricultural to residential land and that the remainder of Echo has now been annexed to Crowhill Properties after a presidential proclamation in 2014, incorporating the land from Goromonzi district to become part of the capital. He said Makuvise has already registered the deed and permit.
But Chiminya’s lawyer, Farai Nyamayaro said he was not aware his client’s offer letter was withdrawn querying the claimed consolidation of the remainder of Echo Farm in 2009.
“They (Makuvise and Hlongwane) got an interdict to force our client from interfering with Lot 1 of Echo, not the remainder of Echo, the land that is in dispute. We have already filed an appeal with the High Court and are preparing heads of argument to this effect,” Nyamayaro said.
Makuvise’s title to the land is dated August 1, 2013 before the presidential proclamation and the permit for consolidation was done in 2009, before Chiminya’s offer was reportedly withdrawn.
Chiminya claims to have invaded the land in 1999 and received an offer letter on October 18, 2003 before registering a housing co-operative called Mishakuvanhu. He claims to have successfully applied for change of land use in 2012, as shown by exchanges between his co-operative and the Local Government ministry.
He claimed Msipa and Hlongwane had tried to offer them some stands and money to buy Mishakuvanhu executives out, but they refused.