Land ownership row spills into court

HARARE - Prospective home owners in Mashonaland West and Marondera risk having their dreams of owning residential properties dashed as their local authorities are embroiled in bitter wrangles with land developers in matters that have now spilled into the courts.

At least 1 664 residential stands in Nyabira are at the centre of a dispute between Zvimba Rural District Council (ZRDC) and a private land developer, Devine Aid Trust Company (Datco).

“Zvimba Rural District Council wishes to advise its valued clients, stakeholders and the nation at large that it is no longer in partnership with Datco in respect of the servicing and development of council land in Lilfordia Farm and Nyabira Township.

“Members of the public are therefore advised against entering into any agreement for the purchase of residential stands being offered by Datco or any other land developer in Nyabira area before consulting with council in order to avoid the risk of fraud.

“Council will not be liable for any loss suffered by anyone as a result of fraud which may occur in this matter,” the ZRDC warned in a notice published this week.

The matter has spilled into the courts, with Datco demanding $4,7 million in compensation.

It is claiming that the contested land was allocated to them by ZRDC who then allocated the same land to another developer.

In Marondera, about 5 000 people are unsure if they will continue to have a roof over their heads amid a raging war between the municipality and a private developer Swadev — owned by suspended Zanu PF councillor Kennedy Muraicho.

Marondera town clerk Josiah Musuwo has said they will take legal action against Swandev alleging that it “illegally partitioned and sold portions” of municipal land.

The matter is being fiercely contested by Muraicho who insists he is the rightful owner of the land and is being targeted for political reasons.

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