A local firm has won a High Court case in which it sought to bar the sale of the late former Zanu PF politburo member Kumbirai Kangai’s farm, following a botched $3 million land development deal.
According to court papers, the applicant is Divine Aid Trust Company, which trades as Datco, while the respondent is Kangai’s Luna Estates and the registrar of deeds.
Datco filed the application for the placement of a caveat on Kangai’s land, in a bid to recover the amount of money that it invested in the project.
High Court judge Priscillah Chigumba granted the application in favour of the firm, after Kangai’s company failed to respond to the application.
According to an affidavit filed by Datco’s board of trustees’ chairperson Brighton Manengureni, the application sought to stop the sale of the remainder of Paarl measuring 257,643 hectares.
The company — through its lawyers Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere Legal Practitioners — further sought an order directing the registrar of deeds to register a caveat that would stop Kangai’s company from selling the said piece of land without Datco’s consent.
The court heard that Datco and Luna Estates entered into a memorandum of agreement in September 2012 for land development.
According to the agreement, Datco was to subdivide the land in question and develop it into smaller stands for resale upon the completion of the land development.
“It was a term of the . . . agreement that the applicant (Datco) would pay the first respondent (Luna Estates) money towards the intrinsic value of the land to the tune of
$3 000 000 during the currency of the agreement, which is of a five-year duration.”
“To this date, the applicant has paid the total sum of $745 110 to the first respondent through the first respondent’s agents and nominees,” the court heard.
The court further heard that Datco went on to develop the land in question, and used $269 948,25, to have the land surveyed.
Datco further incurred costs for the field work that was conducted and the application for an environment assessment certificate from the Environment Management Agency. The company said it has a substantial interest in the land and would be negatively affected if the property is sold.
It demanded the caveat as security, so that it may be able to recover all the amount that it used in the development of the property.
Luna Estates did not oppose the application, leading to the matter being granted in Datco’s favour on Wednesday. Daily news