Saturday 23 March 2024


THE widow of the late veteran nationalist and National Hero, Cde Enos Nkala, has been left in shock after a tenant who was occupying the family’s business premises at Mbalabala along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge highway knocked down the property into a heap of rubble following a three-year legal battle over its ownership.

Cde Nkala’s widow, Mrs Thandiwe Nkala (nee Gwebu), the director of Mbalabala Properties has been entangled in legal battles with Dr Jimmy Gazi, a prominent medical doctor who has been renting the premises that comprise a service station, restaurant and ablution facilities since 2006.

She said Dr Gazi decided to destroy the property that he was now subletting after losing the protracted legal battle.

He had requested to be given up to 15 March this year to finish selling all the fuel which was in the garage tanks as well as collecting his belongings.

In an interview with Sunday News at her residence in the leafy suburb of Woodlands on Tuesday last week, a visibly depressed Mrs Nkala said she was shocked by the “barbarism” exhibited by their former tenant who resorted to vandalism after losing cases in the courts.

Cde Nkala died on 21 August 2013 aged 80 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

“My husband took a loan from the bank and bought Mbalabala Properties which included the garage along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge highway in 1989. He then formed a company called Mbalabala Properties which was responsible for running the business and I’m in possession of the title deeds. He then rented out the property to former ZPRA combatants who were running a co-operative under the banner of Sekusile, whose rentals we used to settle the loan. In 2006, Dr Gazi approached my husband and requested to use the garage for an agreed period of time in exchange for a Nissan Terrano.

“In 2007, Dr Gazi transferred the motor vehicle to my husband’s name. In 2013, when my husband fell sick, Dr Gazi made frantic efforts to have him sign some documents so that he could permanently get the property. We refused and even after the death of my husband, Dr Gazi continued to pursue the idea of him getting the property before he approached the courts in 2021 where legal battles commenced and he lost all of them,” said Mrs Nkala.

According to court papers, Dr Gazi through his lawyers, Advocate Lucas Nkomo and Mr Josphat Tshuma approached the courts in May 2021 seeking an order compelling Mrs Nkala as the co-director of Mbalabala Properties to transfer to him Lot 3 of Lot 1 of Swaite situated in Umzingwane District, Matabeleland South Province.

His claim was premised on that in 2007, Cde Nkala in his capacity as the director of Mbalabala Properties entered into an oral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with terms that he (Dr Gazi) would assist the nationalist’s daughter by paying tuition fees and other charges at Solusi University, deliver a Nissan Terrano, 30 head of cattle, 16 sheep as well as paying 2 000 British pounds and R30 000 to the former Minister of Home Affairs.

According to the court papers, Cde Nkala was to procure the survey and subdivision of the property, separate and identify a portion to be known as Lot 3 of Lot 1 of Swaite measuring 45  483,5 hectares, secure a certificate of no present interest from the Government of Zimbabwe, sign a formal written memorandum of sale of the subdivided property for taxation and transfer the subdivided portion to Dr Gazi.

In court papers, Dr Gazi argued that he duly discharged his obligations per the MoU and following that, Cde Nkala duly obtained a subdivision permit, procured a survey for the purposes of identification of the proposed subdivision, and procured a certificate of no present interest from the Government of Zimbabwe.

However, Mrs Nkala said Dr Gazi did not meet his end of the bargain, as he only delivered the Nissan Terrano.

In January 2022, Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa ruled against Dr Gazi’s claim and dismissed it while ordering each party to bear its costs.

In January 2023, Dr Gazi approached the Supreme Court and filed an appeal against the judgment of the High Court.

On 24 March 2023, the Supreme Court struck off the roll to the appeal with costs.

Mrs Nkala said following the court outcomes, she expected Dr Gazi to vacate her family’s property, as they had a new tenant who they wanted to let in.

“In October last year, we were now expecting him to move from the garage.

“We are aware that he was sub-letting the garage to someone else, who had also started constructing some additional facilities like the restaurant.

“What pains me is that in these legal battles, I have been losing money and not benefitting anything from the property since 2006.

“Now that he has finally understood through court processes that he has to vacate, he is destroying structures, which he found there,” said Mrs Nkala.

Efforts to get a comment from Dr Gazi were fruitless as his contacts were not reachable. – @nyeve14






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