Saturday, 5 May 2018

FORMER AG IN FARM WRANGLE

FORMER Attorney-General Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele is embroiled in an acrimonious legal wrangle with a Gweru woman who is accusing him of “fraudulently” selling her farm, which is part of her late husband’s contested estate.
Mrs Juliet Mtetwa is accusing Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, in his capacity as the executor, of depriving her of her right to inherit her late husband’s estate as a surviving spouse.
She wants an order nullifying the distribution account for her late husband Maboni Aaron Mtetwa’s estate, saying it was fraught with gross irregularities.

In papers before the court, Juliet, who is being represented by Mhaka Attorneys, cited Mr Gula-Ndebele, the Master of the High Court, the Registrar of Deeds, Benbert Investments, a company that bought her late husband’s farm, her two step sons Nkosilathi and Vusumuzi and a niece, Ms Miriam Muvirimi, as respondents.

In her founding affidavits, Juliet said she was customarily married to the late Maboni Aaron Mtetwa as his second wife.

She said soon after the death of her husband on May 19 in 1995, the elder wife, Maggie Mtetwa, was appointed the sole heir to the estate according to the certificate of heir of guardianship issued by the community court resident magistrate on November 3, 1995.

“For a reason that does not appear in the estate file that I have obtained, Maggie Mtetwa was appointed the sole heir to the estate of the late Maboni Aaron Mtetwa by the Master of the High Court. That was in spite of me being the co-wife and entitled to an equal share of the estate. It was also despite the fact that my late husband had several children from different women who were also entitled to benefit,” she said.
“As a result of the anomaly of recognising only one widow in the estate, the properties, which included a farm in Kwekwe, was granted to Maggie.”

Juliet said when Maggie died in 2010, she purportedly left a will in which she directed the executor to sell the farm and share the proceeds among family members.


The will was prepared by Mr Gula-Ndebele, who is alleged to be a close relative to the late Maggie. Juliet said the will ignored the fact that she is a co-wife entitled to half of the farm as a surviving spouse.

She said she and her only son, Ephraim, are supposed to be allocated 25 percent each of the estate while the remainder goes to her late husband’s other children.

Juliet said they face eviction from the farm after Mr Gula-Ndebele sold it to Benbert Investments. She wants an order declaring null and void the will purportedly written by the late Maggie. Juliet also wants the will to be reopened by the Master of the High Court and the beneficiaries be consulted on the propriety of the sale of the shares.

She is also seeking an order compelling the Registrar of Deeds to cancel all title deeds issued in respect of the farm. Juliet wants Mr Gula-Ndebele to cease dealing with the affairs of the estate so that a different executor is appointed. Chronicle 

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