Diaspora couple sold dummy

22 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Diaspora couple sold dummy Acting Chief Mutambara

The ManicaPost


Tendai Gukutikwa
Weekender Reporter

A CHIMANIMANI family domiciled in the diaspora was sold a dummy and ordered to vacate a lavish three-bedroomed house which they built on a piece of land that did not legally belong to them — or pay the land owner holding over damages of US$50 per month.

Godwin Gudu and his wife purchased a piece of land from Luke Chikukwa in Maunzani Village under Chief Mutambara for US$900.

However, the land in question was under ownership dispute.

The couple reportedly invested US$10 000 to develop an electrified three-bedroomed house with tapped water and flush toilet system, erected a security fence and borehole on the property, which they have now lost.

Mutare magistrate, Ms Purity Gumbo ruled that Gudu and his family must remit US$50 monthly as holding over damages if they insist and continue to occupy the property they constructed on the disputed communal land.

“It is ruled that Chikukwa and Gudu and any person claiming occupation through them be and hereby evicted from the premises. They should vacate the building they built at the premises. They shall pay holding over damages in the sum of US$50 per month from the date of this application to the date of vacating the premises,” she ruled.

Ms Gumbo ordered that the damages be paid to the rightful owner, Richard Chikomba.

Upon the court’s judgement, the Gudus camped outside Chikukwa’s homestead, demanding alternative accommodation from him.

“Since the court ordered us to pay US$50 monthly should we fail to vacate the premises — we have been rendered homeless and will be making another court application to claim the US$10 000 costs that we incurred from Chikukwa.

“We electrified and erected a sewer system on our rural home because we thought that we were investing for the future. Despite it being in a rural set-up, the house has a piped water system with tapped water and flush toilets. I was preparing to come back home from South Africa where I am employed to stay with my family in Zimbabwe, but that dream has been shattered. I do not know what to do. I lost all of my savings, building that house. I sunk a borehole which someone now claims it was already there,” said Gudu.

This was after Chikomba had approached Mutare Civil Court appealing against Acting Chief Mutambara’s ruling in which he had ruled in favour of the couple and Chikukwa.

Chikomba’s late mother was married to Chikukwa’s uncle.

When they both passed away, the land was inherited by Chikomba’s late mother’s half-sister, Rose Chikukwa.


When Rose passed away, a wrangle erupted between Chikomba and Chikukwa.

Acting Chief Mutambara ruled that the land should be inherited by Chikukwa since he was related to the late Rose, but proceeded to subdivide it between the two warring parties.

Chikukwa sold his piece of land to the Gudus, who developed it within a few months.

However, Chikomba insisted that the land had previously belonged to his late mother, and not her husband and appealed against the chief’s ruling at Mutare Civil Courts where the couple was ordered to vacate the premises.

He argued that the chief had no right to subdivide the land as it never belonged to the Chikukwas, but his late mother.

“I appealed against the chief’s decision to subdivide a piece of land belonging to me into two, thereby creating two homesteads on one piece of land. The chief’s decision resulted in Chikukwa benefitting from the developments I made. When he sold my land, Gudu is now enjoying a fence and a borehole that I erected,” he said.

Through his lawyer, Mr Stephen Chikamhi from Chikamhi and Mareyanadzo Associates, Chikomba submitted that Chikukwa and Gudu exhibited no knowledge of the history of the land.

“In terms of the Communal Lands Act, Section 7 provides that a person can only occupy or use any portion of communal land except in exercise of any right previously acquired on February 1, 1983.

“It therefore follows that the chief had no right to subdivide the piece of land into two pieces. A chief has no jurisdiction to determine parties’ rights to a piece of land. Chikukwa cannot inherit land in terms of customary law from Chikomba’s mother or Chikomba’s sister,” he presented.

Mr Chikamhi also submitted that despite the fact that Chikukwa is related to Chikomba’s sister, he is not qualified to inherit anything from her in the presence of her surviving brother and children.


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