Setback for new CBD
Council taken to court over 6 600m2 of land
MASVINGO – The new Masvingo Central Business District (CBD) taking shape across Mucheke River has suffered a setback after a resident sued and successfully claimed 6 600m2 of land which is part of the grand project.
There are fears that retrieval of this critical portion of the 24 hectare business district from the master plan may stall construction of some buildings proposed in the new CBD. The new CBD is a stretch of land to the west of Mucheke River designated for the expansion of Masvingo central business district.
A lot of commercial stands have already been taken up under the new CBD project.
High Court Judge, Justice Emilia Muchawa ruled in April that the land belonged to the late Clemence Zebediah Ranganayi’s estate. She also ordered council to pay costs for the case.
Masvingo City Council was sued by the estate of Ranganayi represented by Kumbirai Mugwaziwendota, according to High Court papers in the hands of The Mirror.
The court papers say that on August 13, 2004, council sold commercial stand number 27426 in Charumbira Road, Masvingo measuring 6 600m2 metres to Pay and Collect Motor Spares & Hardware represented by the late Ranganayi.
However, on September 10, 2020, the local authority cancelled the agreement in terms of Clause 15 as read with Clauses 5 and 6 of the agreement alleging failure to commence and complete erection of buildings and non-payment of the balance of the purchase price within the stipulated period.
Council advertised sale of the piece of land based on a Council Resolution of October 27, 2021, prompting the estate of Ranganayi to approach the High Court. Council represented by Jackson Mpoperi of Saratoga Makausi Law Chambers argued that the application was brought to court by a person with no locus standi to institute proceedings on behalf of the Estate of Ranganayi.
He also argued that the Estate of Ranganayi has no locus standi in judicio to institute legal proceedings in a dispute between Masvingo City Council and Pay &Collect Motor Spares and Hardware.
He added that the application was improperly before the court as it was instituted by Mugwaziwendota who is not the holder of letters of administration but relies on a power of attorney granted to him by the executor dative, Isaac Franklin Muzenda who is now a judge of the High Court
“Indeed the estate has no business prosecuting on the agreement of sale to which it was not a party. The sale agreement does speak for itself,” said Mpoperi.
Itayi Ndudzo of Mutamangira and Associates representing the applicant argued that it is the registered estate which appointed Issac Muzenda as the executor. Muzenda delegated some of his power to Kumbirai Mugwaziwendota in terms of a special power of attorney. Ndudzo submitted that there is no prejudice to be suffered from having the matter come before the court on the affidavit of a person authorized by the executor.
Justice Muchawa ruled that the cancellation of the Agreement of Sale was null and void and declared that it still subsists and binds on the parties. Masvingo City Council was ordered to bear the cost of suit on an attorney-client scale.