Equity land order non-executable

HARARE - Interfin Banking Corporation Limited (Interfin) is unable to attach Equity Properties (Private) Limited (Equity)’s 163 000-hectare Golden City estate after the High Court has annulled a mortgage bond in respect of the northern Harare estate.

Although the same court had in July ordered the realtor to pay $2,4 million plus interest in unpaid debts to the bank, Justice Tendai Uchena has also called for the cancellation of a bond in respect of a property known as Lot 3 Bannockburn in a case between Equity and deeds registrar.

This effectively suspends or overturns the planned execution of the land.

“Mortgage bond number 5818/2011… is hereby cancelled and respondent (registrar of deeds) is ordered to endorse the fact of cancellation of the said mortgage bond,” reads the August 2013 judgment.

Earlier, another High Court judge Joseph Mafusire had ruled that Interfin could “…attach and take into execution… Lot 3 Bannockburn measuring 163 219 hectares held under deed of transfer 906/2008 dated December 19, 2008”.

The application and ruling had been granted on the basis that the bond had been irregularly registered, and alternative security had to be secured.

With Interfin placed under Peter Bailey’s care in June 2012, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has extended the curatorship to December 2013 to allow the bank to recover funds from borrowers and conclude plans for its recapitalisation.

About late last year, Equity offered Interfin depositors stands at the northern Harare estate, in an innovative swap deal, which could also “free-up” investors’ money quickly.

“Depositors of Interfin… can also use their deposits… to pay for the purchase of such residential stands by transferring their money to the account of Equity,” the realtor said in a statement then.

“After purchase of such stands, the purchasers or depositors of Interfin Bank can resell the residential stands to anyone and receive cash or keep the stands as an investment,” it added.

However, the transaction was subject to approval by Bailey of KPMG Chartered Accountants.

Under the deal, Equity was hoping to settle its obligations to the troubled bank, while the scheme could also help people with trapped deposits recover their monies.

In late 2012, the company also took Jayesh Shah’s Al Shams Global (Private) Limited (Al Shams) to the High Court over a disputed parcel of bills for its working capital.

In the case, the property firm was not only querying the Dubai-based entity’s entitlement to the financial instruments — in accordance with an October 2012 claim — but also the legality of such actions.

“In other words, the respondents (Shah and Al Shams) are claiming to be holders or holders of value or holders in due course,” Equity said in its key arguments, adding the two were holding onto the bills illegally.

“The Bills were not endorsed by the applicant (Equity) and applicant did not receive value under the Bills,” it added.

At any rate, the Harare property developer said it had not received any money — whether provided by Shah or other parties — from Interfin, hence the defendants had no valid claim on it.

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