Several Chitungwiza residents, who had bought stands and constructed homes and shops at stand number 21325 Unit ‘A’ in Seke, are set to lose their properties after the High Court recently order their eviction and declared the structures as illegal.
According to court papers, the stand in question was reserved for construction of a clinic by the Johane Masowe Vadzidzi VaJesu Church, before the United We Stand Multi-purpose Co-operative, led by Friedrick Mabamba, grabbed the land and parceled it to its members.
The church then petitioned the High Court seeking an order to evict the invaders and interdict Mabamba from selling the remaining stands.
Part of the court order by Justice Joseph Musakwa on May 17, 2018 read: “(1) It is ordered that all developments on stand number 21325 Unit ‘A’ Seke Chitungwiza be and are hereby declared illegal. (2) All members of the first respondent (United We Stand Multi-purpose Co-operative) and all those claiming rights of occupation through them should be evicted from the houses, stands or shops which they presently occupy illegally.
“(3) second respondent (Mabamba) is hereby interdicted from making any fresh allocations of stands or authorising further construction on the stands at stand number 21325 Unit ‘A’ Seke Chitungwiza and (4) First and second respondents to pay the costs of this application on an attorney-client scale.”
Justice Musakwa also castigated Chitungwiza Municipality for failing to rein-in Mabhamba.
“It is quite surprising that the third respondent (Chitungwiza Municipality) has not sought to enforce compliance with provisions of the Act (Regional, Town and Country planning Act). All it did was to file an opposing affidavit. Later it turned around and indicated that it has no interest in the matter and thus will abide by the order of the court,” Justice Musakwa said.
“And yet it is the owner of the land whose development is being undertaken in contravention of the law.”
In granting the order, the judge noted that Mabamba had subdivided the land without a valid permit from council.