Property mogul, Philip Chiyangwa has approached the High Court, seeking an order declaring that he is the rightful owner of the disputed land between his firm, Gabroc Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, and municipality of Chegutu.
Chiyangwa filed the court application last week, citing his firm and the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) as applicants and Chegutu, as the respondent. The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.
The land, which is at the centre of the dispute was ceded to NSSA by Chiyangwa after he allegedly bought it in 2001, an assertion the local council has dismissed as false.
“This is an application for a declaratory order confirming the validity of a transaction entered into between the first applicant (Gabroc Enterprises) and the respondent (municipality of Chegutu) in October 2001 for the purchase of land by first applicant,” Chiyangwa said.
“The land was later ceded to the second applicant (NSSA) by the first applicant with the respondent’s consent. An order confirming the validity of the cession is also sought.”
In his chronological order of events, Chiyangwa said in or around the year 2001, his firm submitted an application to Chegutu for the purchase of and development of 526 hectares of virgin land in the low-density area and 400 hectares in the high-density area, with the aim to set up and develop residential stands.
The businessman said the council’s environmental management committee considered the application and recommended that it be approved.
“A resolution was made on September 7, 2001, in a special council meeting wherein the council duly resolved to approve the first applicant’s application for land. I then received a letter on September 10, 2001, as the then chairperson of the first applicant, from the second respondent notifying me that the application for land had been approved and proposing a meeting with myself to discuss the technical details of the project,” Chiyangwa said.
“Pursuant to the approval of the application, on or about October 29, 2001, an agreement of sale was drawn up and signed by both the executive mayor and the second respondent, as well as myself representing the first applicant. In terms of the agreement of sale, the respondent agreed to sell to the applicant 526 hectares of virgin land for the purpose of planning, surveying, servicing and/or building and allocating the stands or houses at a total purchase price of $10 520 000.”
Chiyangwa further said he made a $1 052 000 initial payment and later paid the balance of $9 468 000 on February 20, 2003, which was well within the timeframe stipulated in the agreement of sale.