ZANU PF supporters, who were settled on privately-owned land ahead of the Norton by-election, which was won by an independent candidate, Temba Mliswa, are set to suffer a major setback after the owners challenged the move by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere at the High Court.
Maparahwe Properties (Pvt) (Ltd) filed the application together with Hardwork Chimina, Sibangani Kokera, Stanford Magwenzi, Tinashe Hlatshwayo and Imani Makalani and cited Kasukuwere, Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp) and Nyasha Simon Sibiya as respondents.
In the application, Maparahwe accused Udcorp of illegally taking over the privately-owned property. Udcorp is a parastatal and was roped in to regularise the processing of urban residential stands.
“Since last week, there has been a lot of political rhetoric and the smuggling of the Kingsdale issue during rallies with various promises by senior politicians to deal with the Kingsdale issue to the satisfaction of party supporters,” Maparahwe’s representative, Brian Mafirambudzi, said in his founding affidavit.
“The respondents (Kasukuwere, Udcorp and Sibiya) have indicated that they will allocate stands in Kingsdale to those without accommodation and this is likely to result in double allocations, which the first respondent would have to deal with.”
The property owners said they were also seeking an order nullifying the appointment of Udcorp, as the project managers of the area, adding Kasukuwere seemed obsessed with the land and abusing his power.
“At a date unknown to first applicant (Maparahwe), but in October 2016, first respondent (Kasukuwere), acting contrary to his mandate as the Minister of Local Government … in an act of abuse of power appointed second respondent (Udcorp), as the project manager for Kingsdale of Johannesburg without first applicant’s consent, approval or knowledge. The minister’s actions are deplorable, as they would connote acquisition of which first respondent would not be the rightful authority to do so,” Mafirambudzi said.
“I must state that the government officials and politicians in Zimbabwe, the first respondent included, appear to be obsessed with Kingsdale despite various consent orders in respect of Kingsdale.”
The Kingsdale property has been a subject of several court litigations, which resulted in the Constitutional Court, in October 2013, issuing an ejectment order for some people, who had invaded the land after the State conceded it had been illegally acquired by the government.
“This is clearly politics at play and regrettably Kingsdale has become a politics playing field, as the actions of the first respondent have nothing to do with social responsibility that the government has to provide for accommodation to its citizens. First respondent has no right legal or other right to commandeer the way Kingsdale of Johannesburg should be handled,” Mafirambudzi said.
Maparahwe also said they were seeking an order interdicting Udcorp from carrying out further development at Kingsdale and collecting money from purchasers or residents in respect of stands allocated to them. newsday