Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

3 August 2014

Ethiopia: Vehicles, Farm Animals Presented As Collateral in Habitat Diaspora Court Case

Six homebuyers from the Diaspora are asking the court to sell 10 donkeys, 20 sheep and 40 cows, in addition to three vehicles, in order to recover money they paid to a real estate firm that failed to deliver on its promises.

These assets belong to Habitat New Flower Plc, which the court had sentenced to pay 4.63 million Br, along with a 600,000 Br penalty and nine percent interest to the homebuyers. The Court ruled in favour of the homebuyers in January 2013, ordering Habitat to pay the homebuyers and transfer the plans for the houses which it had built for them.

The homebuyers moved to court on July 2011, claiming that Habitat had agreed in 2004 to construct houses, which it was then not able to deliver according to the deal. Later, the two parties agreed for the homebuyers to finalise the houses by themselves, but Habitat would not return the money it had collected from them for the construction.

Following the court's ruling, the homebuyers asked for the implementation, in March 2013. However, by July 7, 2014, Habitat was only able to come up with 30,000 Br, prompting the judge to order the homebuyers to bring a list of assets owned by the defendant, adjourning the case until Tuesday July 29, 2014. It was at this time that the homebuyers reported that they could find no assets, as all are already under different Court injunction orders.

The list they were able to present to the court on Friday August 1, 2014, included 10 donkeys, 20 sheep, and 40 cows, as well as one Toyota Landcruiser, one Datsun vehicle and one tractor. These properties were are found at the compound of Berta Construction, located in the Akaki Kality District. Under the deal the homebuyers, all of them from the Diaspora, had with Habitat, Berta was responsible for the construction.

The court closes for a month from Wednesday August 6, 2014, because of which the judge adjourned the case until October 7, 2014.

Habitat was established by nine shareholders in 1999, with an authorised capital of 1.2 million Br.

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