THE High Court has reserved judgment in a case in which residents from Harare’s Southlea Park suburb are challenging a bid by business tycoon Phillip Chiyangwa to lay claim to a piece of land which was being administered by a consortium of 56 public companies under Odar Development Project.
Chiyangwa is claiming ownership of the farm, which is now a place for more than 8000 households.
The residents took the matter to court as Southlea Park Home Owners Association.
The lawyer representing the residents, Advocate Givemore Madzoka, said High Court Judge, Joseph Musakwa had indefinitely reserved judgment on the matter.
The government acquired the farm from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in June 2006 under deed of transfer 816/65, which was confirmed by an Administrative court affirmation on December 6, 2010 under case Number LA 6065 24 2012 and June 17, 2013 under judgment number SC25/2013.
The government entered into an agreement with Odar to establish a housing project promising to compensate ZTA for the improvements and receive its money back from the consortium’s beneficiaries within 90 days.
However, the government entered into another agreement with Chiyangwa on April 9, 2015, transferring ownership of the farm to his Sensene Pvt Ltd.
Chiyangwa had been given the power of attorney by the ZTA through an affidavit signed by Roy Andrew Ferreira on January 29, 2009, three years after government had acquired the farm.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, George Mlilo, had signed the agreement on behalf of government but there was no government gazette to de-list the farm.