ZNA commander in property wrangle

HARARE - A company owned by the commander of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) lieutenant general Edzai Chimonyo has filed a $327 000 lawsuit against a firm that failed to meet its side of the bargain in a deal involving the sale of an immovable property.

According to papers filed at the High Court in an ongoing trial before justice Clement Phiri, a company owned by the ZNA boss, Yarnfield Enterprises (Private) Limited, is the applicant while Oasis Construction (Private) Limited and Thomas D’acquin Moufo are cited as respondents.

The court heard the commander’s company entered into a sale agreement with Oasis Construction in February 2012.

Oasis, according to court papers, sold Yarnfield an immovable property known as Stand 104 Vainona Township of Vainona measuring 5 565 square metres in Harare.

“The material terms of the agreement of sale were as follows: that the full purchase price was in the sum of $1 050 000, that the property was being sold as an uncompleted dwelling with an obligation on the part of the defendants to complete the construction of the property within 90 days,” the court heard.

The parties to the transactions further agreed that Oasis Construction was to appoint a professional structural engineer to inspect the building and produce an inspection clearance to certify the required structural quality of the building.

It was also agreed that on completion of the outstanding works, Oasis would secure and deliver to Yarnfield an occupation certificate from the City of Harare as evidence of lawful completion of the construction in accordance with the local authority’s standards and regulations.

Yarnfield, which is represented by Itai Ndudzo, was then expected to take occupation of the building after paying the full purchase price, which the company claimed to have done in February 2013.

The property was later changed into Yarnfield’s name, but issues arose after Oasis failed to complete the outstanding construction work within 90 days, in breach of the agreement entered between the parties.

“The defendants have failed to give the plaintiff occupation of the property since the full payment of the purchase price…Notwithstanding the numerous demands made by the plaintiff to the defendants, to date, the defendants have failed, refused and or neglected to remedy their breach.

“The failure by the defendants to perform their obligations in terms of the agreement and to remedy their breach has caused the plaintiff to suffer damages in the following manner: plaintiff requires the sum of $197 733, 31 to complete the outstanding works to the standard envisaged by Clause 6:3 of the agreement.

“The plaintiff has not been able to occupy the property since February 22, 2013 when the full purchase price was paid thereby being prejudiced monthly income on the property in the sum of $3 000 being the value of occupation on the property,” the court heard.

Yarnfield, later amended its claims from $197 733, 31 to $327 695, 50 in January this year.

However, in response, Moufo, who is Oasis Construction’s managing director, said there were delays in the completion of the construction work, although the parties were continuously in touch.

“This continued with no problem, until on or about September 5, 2016, when the plaintiff took over occupation of the property, and barred the 1st defendant’s agent and workers from entering the property, saying that would complete the works on its own,” Moufo said, adding that it was Yarnfield’s personnel that made it impossible for them to complete the construction works.

He denied having breached the agreement, adding he was not liable for any damages as alleged.

The matter is yet to be finalised before the High Court.

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