Thursday, 23 December 2021

MAN LOSES SEVEN YEAR FIGHT AGAINST LATE BUSINESSMAN'S ESTATE

A HARARE man who is battling to recover a residential stand he bought from the late businessman Dr Eric Nhodza, seven years after his death, had his application to compel the estate of the businessman transfer the property into his name thrown out by the High Court.

Dr Nhodza died on November 10, 2014 and was the owner of Gope Investments, a property development company that built thousands of houses in Harare.

During his lifetime, he also owned Wedzera Petroleum.

Mr Wonder Sianga had approached the High Court suing Dr Nhodza’s estate in the case in which the Master of High Court, Sheriff of the High Court and the Registrar of Deeds, were also cited as respondents.

He wanted the court to compel the estate to transfer the stand into his name. The property was bought for $200 000 in March 2003.

But High Court judge Justice Fatima Maxwell threw out the application on the basis that Mr Sianga in his application cited the deceased estate, which has no legal personality and that the proceedings against the estate must be in the name of the executor acting in his official capacity.

“An order against a deceased estate is incompetent. The executor has not been cited,” she said noting also that no formal claim was filed with the executor.

“The order sought by the applicant (Mr Sianga) cannot be granted . . . The merits of the matter will not be considered. The application to compel transfer be and is hereby struck off the roll.”

Through his lawyer Ms Jackie Sande, Mr Sianga argued that by the time he wanted to pay the transfer fees, the seller had died.

Ms Sande argued that efforts were made to locate the executor so that the transfer of the property would be done.

Despite engaging the executor through letters and telephone calls, he was not forth coming prompting the High Court application.

The court heard that there was a valid agreement of sale and transfer to the applicant plus Dr Nhodza’s consent was fully reflected in the documents before the court.

Since the seller had died, Ms Sande argued that the obligation to transfer the property into Mr Sianga’s name rested upon the Estate Late Eric Nhodza.

But Mr Vasco Shamu who argued the matter for the Estate Late Eric Nhodza, submitted that transfer could not be done until a proper investigation was completed.

He accused Mr Sianga of acting prematurely by approaching the court without engaging the executor of the estate. It was also Mr Shamu’s submission that Mr Sianga had not filed his claim with either the estate or the Master of the High Court.

He also implored the court to dismiss Mr Sianga’s application for making wrong citation on the matter, which he said made the application defective and incurable at law to warrant the relief sought. Herald

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