Zimbabwe: Court Blocks Attempt to Evict Stands Beneficiaries

1 October 2020

The High Court has blocked a Harare lawyer and an executor from evicting beneficiaries of residential stands at Hedfordshire Farm in Gweru on the strength of a dubious writ he obtained through a default judgment two years ago.

The lawyer, Mr Thomas Militao and executor of the estate of the late Luke Hove represented by Mr Mugeza Hove, had threatened to eject all those allocated residential stands under Hedfordshire Phase 1 and 2, on the outskirts of the city along the Gweru-Harare Highway. Mhlaba Housing Programme, trading as River Valley Properties owned by businesswoman Ms Smelly Dube, approached the High Court last week suing Estate Luke Hove, Mr Mugeza and Mr Militao, as the dispute over control of the farm escalated to new heights.

The company, which is developing the land in question had asked the court to stop Mr Militao from enforcing the writ, arguing the default judgment was rescinded.

However, it emerged during the hearing before Justice Daveson Foroma that the writ which Mr Militao wanted to enforce was a nullity since it was based on an order, which was invalid.

Based on the fact that the order Mr Militao relied on was invalid, Justice Foroma ruled that the urgent application by River Valley Properties was unnecessary because the writ and the order the property development company sought to stay were nullities.

This means River Valley Properties can approach the Sheriff's Office to have the dubious writ set aside.

Hedfordshire Farm was acquired by the Government and lawfully allocated to Mahlaba Housing Programme for the purposes of servicing urban residential stands in line with the Government's vision of providing decent residential accommodation to the general urban populace.

The property company, which was represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri instructed by Mr Alec Mucahdehama, serviced urban residential stands that were allocated to beneficiaries.

The Estate Luke Hove contested the gazetting, acquisition and allocation of the portion of Hertfordshire Farm (Hertfordshire Phase 2) to Mahlaba Housing Programme under case HC 3811/13.This culminated in a default judgment in favour of Estate Luke Hove granted by the then High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni in February 2018. River Valley Properties successfully applied for rescission of the judgment at the same court, but Mr Militao in defiance of the court judgment, sought to enforce the writ granted 36 months ago.

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