Ex-First Lady’s Involvement in Land Dispute Unveiled

Unraveling the Land Dispute: Former First Lady Grace Mugabe Entangled in Controversy

by Motoni Olodun

In a surprising turn of events, former First Lady Grace Mugabe has been implicated in a land dispute involving her niece, Farai Mashonganyika. The disagreement centers around a plot of land in the affluent Borrowdale suburb, which Mashonganyika acquired in 2011 for a price that has raised eyebrows.

Mashonganyika purchased the 8003 square meter property for a mere US$4000, which translates to roughly 49 cents per square meter – a price significantly lower than the market value estimated at US$20 003. She claims to have purchased the land from the Ministry of Local Government and cites a title deed registered in her name.

However, the Ministry, led by Local Government Minister Winston Chitando, cancelled the title deed in November 2022, alleging it was fraudulently acquired due to the exceptionally low price paid. The Ministry further claims there was a tripartite agreement between them, the developer (Arosme Property Development Pvt Ltd), and a housing cooperative, requiring Mashonganyika to contribute towards development costs beyond the initial purchase price.

Adding a layer of complexity, Grace Mugabe reportedly contacted Minister Chitando last week, pressuring him to withdraw his opposition to Mashonganyika’s court challenge and reinstate the title deed. Minister Chitando remains resolute in his position.

In his affidavit, he argues that Mashonganyika failed to join the original developer in the lawsuit, whose testimony is crucial to verifying payment of development costs. He also emphasises that the Ministry conducted a valuation and the significantly lower purchase price constitutes a breach of contract.

Chitando further disputes Mashonganyika’s claim of being unaware of the cancellation, highlighting her previous interactions with the Ministry on the matter. He concludes by calling her purchase price “a fantasy” and emphasises the financial loss incurred by the Ministry due to the undervalued sale.

Despite the ongoing dispute, there is hope for a resolution that upholds justice and fairness. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and due process in land transactions, and the need for vigilance against potential abuses of power.

Source: The Herald

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