Harare Businessman Seeks Court’s Mercy to Delay Eviction from Luxury Home

Tendai Mashamhanda Seeks Justice in High-Stakes Property Dispute

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe
Mashamhanda Mansion Eviction

In a dramatic twist of events in Harare’s upscale Highlands neighborhood, businessman Tendai Mashamhanda is fervently battling an eviction order that threatens to render him and his family homeless. The urgent situation unfolded when Mashamhanda, son of renowned business tycoon Alex Mashamhanda, received a notice to vacate his luxurious residence by February 29, 2024, giving him a mere 72-hour warning. This move, sanctioned by the High Court’s sheriff, has been labeled by Mashamhanda as not only abrupt but unconstitutional, igniting a legal plea for leniency.

The property, a stately mansion valued at a staggering US$1.5 million, sits at the heart of a long-standing ownership dispute with Bariade Investments. Mashamhanda’s claim to the residence traces back to a purchase from Harare lawyer Pihwai Chiutsi for US$230,000. However, the deal’s legitimacy came into question as it was purportedly made while the property was under judicial attachment, leading to a complex legal battle over rightful ownership.

Despite acquiring what he believed was a valid title to the mansion in May 2022 and having lived there since 2020 with his wife and two young children, Mashamhanda finds himself cornered by legal technicalities. His attachment to the home goes beyond its walls, having invested significantly in renovations and improvements that dramatically increased its market value.

In a heartfelt plea to the High Court, Mashamhanda emphasized the property’s role as the family home for the past four years, arguing that the eviction notice overlooks the constitutional safeguard against arbitrary eviction outlined in section 74. His request? A six-month grace period to secure alternative accommodation and relocate his family and belongings, a proposal he believes aligns with the interests of justice.

The legal tussle reached a climax late last year when Bariade Investments emerged victorious in court, a decision that Mashamhanda challenged at the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, his appeal did not sway the higher court’s judgment, leaving him to confront the imminent loss of his home.

Amidst this legal quagmire, Mashamhanda has raised allegations of corruption against several judges involved in his case, seeking intervention from the Judicial Services Commission, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, and the Ministry of Justice. As the deadline looms, the businessman’s fight against eviction highlights the intricate dance between property rights, legal processes, and the quest for justice in Zimbabwe’s real estate sector.

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