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Teachers sue property developer after stands deal sours

by Staff reporter
18 Jul 2018 at 06:35hrs | Views
TWENTY-FOUR teachers under the Zimbabwe Teachers' Union (Zitu), have taken a Gweru-based leading property developer, River Valley Properties, to court for failing to deliver residential stands which they had paid for.

The teachers, through their lawyers Munyaradzi Gwisai and Partners, filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Mahlaba Housing Programme t/a River Valley Properties, as the defendant.

They are seeking an order directing River Valley Properties to refund them $15 845 which they paid in instalments for the stands.

The teachers, led by Ms Selina Makwiwa, said between 2014 and 2015 on varying dates they joined Mahlaba Housing Programme after River Valley Properties promised them residential stands upon payment of $50 monthly payments over a period of 12 months.

"Each of the plaintiffs executed a memorandum of agreement with the defendant which serves as proof of the existence of the contract signed between the parties. We were allocated stand numbers which existed only on paper not physically," she said.

Ms Makwiwa said upon discovering that they had been duped, the plaintiffs withdrew from the housing scheme.

"In the withdrawal forms, the defendants undertook to refund the plaintiffs in terms of the clauses 4 and 5 of the memoranda of agreement, which provided for the amounts to be refunded and the respective dates on which the refunds were to be effected," she said.

The teachers said despite demand River Valley Properties refused and neglected to refund them in breach of the terms of agreement.

In March this year, River Valley Properties' director, Mrs Smelly Dube approached the High Court seeking an order blocking her imminent arrest and prosecution on charges of fraud.

She was being investigated by police for fraud after she allegedly stole State land and fraudulently sold residential stands to civil servants.

Mrs Dube is not fresh to controversy as she was in 2014 also involved in a messy fight with a Bulawayo businessman over the control of a piece of land in Cowdray Park where thousands of residential stands had been sold to civil servants.

The stands were being sold by River Valley Estates Properties on behalf of Mahlaba Housing Programme.

A city businessman, Mr John Sibanda, dragged Mahlaba Housing Programme to court for "clandestinely stealing his land".

Mrs Dube was close to the former First Family and in particular, Mrs Grace Mugabe. She built a house at Woodlands in Gweru and donated it to former President Mr Robert Mugabe.

Source - chronicle