Zvimba RDC in land scam

Source: Zvimba RDC in land scam | The Herald  July 5, 2017

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Zvimba Rural District Council is embroiled in a land scam after it allegedly allocated more than 150 000 hectares of land in Nyabira to two developers, one of which is now demanding $4,7 million in compensation.

A partner in a housing development trust, Datco Group, has approached the High Court claiming compensation for lost income and prejudice after the group completed civil works, surveys and town planning among other services, before discovering that the same land had been allocated to another developer.

As a result, Datco Group chairman Brighton Manengureni said council should pay for double dipping and for misleading his company into parting with millions of dollars servicing the land, which had been allocated to another developer.

Blackdawn Estates and Nyashanu Butchery were given the land in question by Zvimba RDC, as compensation in another land wrangle.

The facts presented to the High Court by Datco show that the group entered into a partnership agreement with Zvimba RDC to develop 5 410 residential stands in Nyabira in two phases.

Phase 1 involved developing 3 846 residential stands, with the remaining number of stands totalling 1 664 to be developed under phase two.

The agreement on phase 1 was to allow for the development of off-site and on-site services such as water and sewer reticulation and road networks.

While Datco was working on Phase 1 and after the approval of the site plane which included phase two, the land developer was then notified that another developer had been allocated 150 000 hectares which falls under phase two of the Nyabira project.

Mr Manengureni said this sparked the latest challenges between the two parties. Datco holds 60 percent shareholding in the partnership agreement with Zvimba RDC.

As part of the terms of the agreement, the parties were required to go for arbitration if any dispute arose, which they agreed to. While the formalities of arbitration were ongoing, Zvimba RDC pulled out of the process and opted to approach the magistrate court in Chinhoyi seeking an interdict to stop Datco from working on the project.

Zvimba RDC lost the court application. Datco is claiming $4 757 429 being loss of income from its share of stands in Phase 2 of the project.

The developer claims it was entitled to 1 055 medium density stands after the removal of 10 percent commonage due to the State.

It says the value of the stands is $9 864 250.

Zvimba RDC is still to respond to the High Court order compelling it to hold a pre-trial conference with Datco.