Former top MDC staffer loses property over debt

HARARE - Controversail former MDC director general, Toendepi Shonhe, who made headlines recently for predicting a landslide victory for Zanu PF in next year’s general elections, has lost a 1,2 hectare plot over an unspecified debt owed to a local bank.

The property, located in the prime farming area of Goromonzi about 30 kilometres east of Harare, was on Friday put under the hammer at an auction organised by the Sheriff of the High Court.

It was not immediately clear if the property was actually sold, with High Court sheriff, Mcdoff Madhega, saying he was not authorised to speak to the press.

According to a notice published in the Government Gazette on Friday, the sheriff was inviting bidders for the purchase of “a certain piece of land situated in the district of Goromonzi called lot 21 of Rusike Eastate, measuring 1,142 hectare” belonging to Shonhe.

The auction sale, conducted at Harare’s Raylton Sports Club on Friday morning, was meant to raise money to repay a loan to CBZ which Shonhe had failed to service, resulting in the country’s largest financial services provider seeking legal recourse.

The amount of the loan was not stated.

Shonhe, who has now become a full-fledged academic, recently touched off a storm when he released a research paper predicting that his former boss, Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads a coalition of opposition political parties challenging Zanu PF’s political hegemony in next year’s vital general election, would once again lose to the President Robert Mugabe-led ruling party.

“There appears to be somewhat growing consensus that a grand coalition is the ultimate answer to the complex and regressive challenges in Zimbabwe. This article posits that the proponents of the grand coalition may somehow be both simplistic and green in exaggerating the usefulness of this solo tactic,” Shonhe said in the paper, which inevitably attracted brickbats from his former MDC colleagues.

Interestingly, relations between Shonhe and his former employer soured after he was sacked from his job along with 17 others in 2014 when they took sides with former party secretary general, Tendai Biti, following his much-publicised fallout with Tsvangirai.

The workers then took the party to court, wanting to be reinstated, or alternatively be given a severance package collectively amounting to $200 000.

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