The High Court has ordered the estate of the late Cyprian Musarurwa to transfer within seven days, ownership of a Harare house to one of the companies owned by business tycoon Frank Buyanga, Hamilton Property Holdings – ending a 10-year legal battle.
Cyprian Musarurwa borrowed US$21,700 from Hamilton Property Holdings in 2009, using his 4,109 square-meter home in Chadcombe township as surety.
The agreement with Hamilton stated that he would cede his rights to the property in the event of defaulting on the loan.
The Harare High Court heard that after failing to pay back the loan, Musarurwa refused to complete the necessary paperwork to complete the transfer – setting off a lengthy legal battle.
Musarurwa died early this year, but not before – Hamilton’s lawyers argued – he fraudulently got a caveat placed on the property by Hamilton lifted.
He then obtained replacement title deeds, which he used to subdivide the property and sell off part of the land to Harare resident Joseph Machipisa. This week, High Court Judge Justice David Mangota, in an order, said:
“It is ordered that the permit dated January 31, 2019, to subdivide stand 282 Chadcombe Township is hereby declared null and void.
“The first respondent (Musarurwa estate) signs all documents and takes all necessary steps to pass transfer of the property to the applicant within seven days of granting of this order.”
“Failing compliance, the Deputy Sheriff Harare, be and is hereby authorised to take such steps and to sign such documents as may be necessary to transfer all the rights, title and interest in the above property into the applicant’s name.”
He ordered the Musarurwa Estate to pay the applicants’ costs of suit on the higher scale of the legal practitioner and client.
Musarurwa was one of several people, who took money from the company before failing to pay back. Some of them then decided to approach the courts accusing Buyanga of making them sign unfair contracts.
However, Hamilton’s court victory leaves dozens of people who took the same stance as Musarurwa at risk of losing their properties.
In 2010, some of the over 50 people who had also accused the businessman of fraudulently seizing their immovable properties through the loan scheme made a U-turn, saying they had instead sold their houses and stands to the property mogul.
It has also emerged that some of the complainants had lost or withdrawn their cases against the businessman in the High Court.
Documents and videos also revealed that the people had also sold the properties to subsidiaries of Buyanga’s Hamilton Property Holdings.
There were at least 53 people, among them cabinet ministers from both political divides, prominent businesspeople and top musicians, who signed agreements of sale with Buyanga’s companies, but were refusing to pay him back the money they received.
By then, Buyanga reportedly sunk US$10 million in the economy through buying properties at a time of a steep liquidity crunch. H Metro