The Herald (Harare)

8 March 2014

Zimbabwe: 1 500 Cry Foul As Chiyangwa Repossesses Stoneridge Stands

At least 1 442 people have lost residential stands to businessman Phillip Chiyangwa's Pinnacle Property Holdings Limited at Stoneridge Farm in Harare after they allegedly defaulted on payment.Pinnacle Property Holdings said in a statement yesterday that the residential stands were now up for grabs after it ordered the residents out.

Some of the affected people had already built houses, some with as many as eight rooms.

Stoneridge Farm, measuring 586 hectares, has been under contestation by Government which argued that Pinnacle Properties Limited would not cater for low-income earning citizens because it was profit-oriented.

"The following defaulting persons are hereby notified of the cancellation of their agreements," the company said in the statement, before listing the names of the affected.

"You have seven days to vacate the properties. These listed stands are now available for purchase. Please visit our office or call our sales team on the numbers listed."

Mr Chiyangwa said in an interview that the residential stands belonged to him and he had the right to evict those defaulting.

"They were supposed to pay amounts varying from US$25 to US$150 over a 10-year period, but they are not," he said. "They should finish paying than to stay without paying anything. The stands are all mine. Hapana anogara muHarare mahara. Ngavabhadhare."

When The Herald visited the farm, some of the affected residents criticised Mr Chiyangwa, saying he resorted to communicating with them through the Press.

"We are paying the money we agreed to pay every month although sometimes we default. But we always visit their offices situated along Samora Machel Avenue where we can pay in line with agreed payment plans," said one of the residents.

Another resident said there was no other form of communication with them other than through rumours.

One of the residents who identified herself as Mrs Dube said it was painful for her to be given seven days to vacate the residential stand when she had constructed a four-roomed cottage.

Pinnacle Holdings contested the acquisition of Stoneridge Farm before making a U-turn in court this week, saying negotiations for compensation were going on with the Government.

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