Zanu-PF demands rescission of land sale

Oliver Chidawu

HARARE – Zanu PF Harare province has demanded that Harare City Council rescind the sale of land to some party officials, which the party was occupying on lease from the city, saying the transaction was fraudulently done.

The ruling party’s provincial executive led by acting chairperson, Oliver Chidawu, has since appointed the party’s District Coordinating Committee chairperson, Godwils Masimirembwa, to represent it in criminal investigations to establish the circumstances of the sale.

The Chidawu-led executive said only the party’s national leadership had the authority to handle the matter and not provincial executive members as what happened in the present case.

However, the party officials accused of buying Stand Number 55 Pomona Estate, Number 8 Campel Road measuring 8 000 square metres in Borrowdale, insisted the purchase was above board.

It is alleged that the party officials, using their private company, purchased the property through misrepresentation to council.

The stand has been used as district party offices by Zanu PF Borrowdale District since 1990.

One of the officials, Lameck Tarupuwa, said they bought the property after Zanu PF Harare province, through a letter by provincial secretary for administration, George Mashavave, notified council that it had no objection to the sale.

A paper trail in possession of The Herald show that normal procedures were followed in the acquisition of the land by Tarupuwa’s company, with letters from the city council and the party authorising the sale.

According to the papers, the stand was eventually bought by Pebney (Pvt) Ltd from the City of Harare on the strength of the letter from Mashavave.

The matter was eventually brought to the city’s Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee, which approved the sale after the company offered to pay US$650 000 against a valuation of US$130 000.

In an interview yesterday, Mashavave said he wrote the letter after the then Zanu PF provincial management committee directed him to do so on the understanding that the party would be given alternative land.

Harare city council director for housing and community services, Mr Addmore Nhekairo, said they allowed Pebney to buy the stand after its application was accompanied by a cover letter from Zanu PF Harare province, indicating the party had no objection to the sale.

“We had no reason to doubt that party officials whom we were dealing with had no legitimate authority from the party,” he said. “It was only brought to our attention when we attended meetings with Chidau where we were told that we had to set aside the sale. Our hope is that they will find each other among themselves.”

In a new twist of events, Chidau’s executive has since reported the matter to police and appointed Masimirembwa as the party’s contact person.

“This letter serves to authorise Godwills Masimirembwa in his capacity as Chairman Zanu PF DCC4 to represent Zanu PF in criminal investigations under CCD DR 55/7 and CCD CR 503/7/2020 pertaining to fraudulent purchase of stand number Lot 55 Pomona Estate (No 8 Campbel) by Pebney (Pvt) Ltd represented by Lameck Tarupuwa and the fraudulent transaction involving US$26 000 rentals due to Zanu PF rentals which was deposited into the account of one Fungai Chiboora,” read a letter from Chidau dated July 17, 2020.

In another letter to Mr Nhekairo, Zanu PF DCC4 secretary for administration Blessing Chimangah said Harare provincial members had no authority to consent to the sale of the land to a third party.

Chimangah said Harare City Council should have first offered to Zanu PF the right of first refusal before selling the land to a third party as per their agreement.

He said the purported consent to the disposal of land by Zanu PF was fraudulently given.

“Issues of land acquisition and disposal are decided upon by national leadership of the party, not by provincial leadership,” said Chimangah.

“Thus the letter written by Mashavave or any provincial leader consenting to the disposal should be disregarded,” read the letter.

Further, it is argued that Tarupuwa was a member of Zanu PF Harare Province when his company, Pebney (Pvt) Ltd, purchased the property from the City of Harare.