via Chinese dragged to High Court | The Zimbabwean 24 September 2014
A Chinese businessman has been dragged to the High Court for using violence to unlawfully push local tenants out of a complex they have occupied for 38 years while also boasting of strong connections to Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Cheng Xinhua, who operates chrome mining firms in the Midlands, has been ordered to respond to the matter before the Harare High Court. Documents in possession of The Zimbabwean indicate that Xinua was slapped with a High Court application case number 7965/14 after he teamed up with a gang of other Chinese nationals to destroy property of occupants at Wickham complex located on land measuring 1,115 square meters at number 79, 6th Street Gweru on the basis that he purchased the property from a local estate agent.
The documents show that the occupants, Rosemary Pickard, Constance Mohamed, Stanford Khola and Cecilia Mangwiro, lawfully purchased the property from its Greek owner Emmanuel Achilles Pidelis at a cost of $120,000 last year.
Xinhua who claimed to have bought the same property from estate agent Trevor Dollar, recently descended on the complex, pulled down entrance doors, threw out furniture and destroyed other properties of the occupants. The occupants failed to get an explanation from Tevor Dollar on how the Chinese had bought the property.
According to the court application, the occupants want an order to be passed to stop Xinhua from interfering with their peace and barred from going ahead with his plans of to sell the property before finalisation of the case.
“If 1st respondent were to be allowed to sell the property, we will suffer irreparable harm because we will have to continuously litigate against another third party,” reads part of the High Court application placed before the court by lawyers for the complainants, Sachikonye Ushe.
Sources who witnessed the incident in which Xinhua and his colleagues violently descended on the complex to push out the complainants, described their actions as brutal and heartless.
“The Chinese did not even look at an old lady who was crying loudly throughout the sad ordeal when they were throwing out her property. They also destroyed machines of a photo and video graphing firm, Third Dimension, which were in the building. Right now those forcefully chucked out are living in the open while those who worked and conducted business at the complex are now jobless,” said the source.
Khola, who is owner of Third Dimension firm which was part of the complex, said Xinhua personally threatened him with unspecified action using names of senior politicians.
“The Chinese guy told me that Mnangagwa will deal with me if I refused to vacate. He also mentioned that another politician and war veteran called Kanengoni was also close to him and that we would never win in the “war” against him,” said Khola.
Numerous complaints have been raised in the past concerning violations of human rights by the Chinese who started flocking into the country more than a decade ago when Zanu (PF) extended an olive branch to them through the Look East Policy after the European Union imposed restrictive measures on the Zanu (PF) hierarchy for bad governance.