Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
MAYOR Logistics Private Limited, a firm owned by Gokwe Nembudziya legislator Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena, has won back its acres of land that had been illegally sold to a Chinese businessman.
The company entered a verbal agreement with the original owners of the land, Mathonsi Family Enterprises, to finance the subdivision of Number 9 Simon Mazorodze Road in Harare, to pay capital gains tax and other related costs.
Mayor Logistics, on behalf of the Mathonsi family business, acquired a sub-divisional permit in fulfilment of its obligation.
In return, Mayor Logistics would be favoured with an opportunity to buy the land at a price of $35 000 per acre.
However, a representative of Mathonsi family, Mr Cliff Mathonsi made a u-turn and sold the same piece of land to Mr Guoxing Gong.
That sparked a legal dispute which saw Mayor Logistics rushing to the High Court suing the family concern for specific performance.
The High Court issued a default judgment that nullified the illegal sale of the property to Mr Guoxing Gong and directed the family company to transfer the property into the name of Mayor Logistics.
Mr Gong took the matter up to the Supreme Court on appeal.
In a Supreme Court judgment handed down yesterday, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu threw out the appeal with costs.
Justice Bhunu, sitting with Justices Vernanda Ziyambi and Tendai Uchena, frowned at the criminal conduct exhibited by Mr Gong and his lawyers in illegally effecting the transfer of property.
“The appellant (Mr Gong) and his lawyer’s unbecoming and deplorable conduct in resorting to criminality in a bid to preserve their ill-gotten gains cannot go unpunished.
“It is accordingly ordered that the appeal be and is hereby dismissed with costs at the legal practitioner and client scale,” ruled Justice Bhunu.
Justice Bhunu said the High Court was correct in treating the matter as a double sale on the part of the Trust.
“Despite the verbal agreement and the first respondent having partially fulfilled its part of the bargain, Mathonsi Family Enterprises (Pvt) Limited resold the disputed property at a higher price to the appellant unbeknown to the first respondent (Mayor Logistics) on April 4 2011.
“The above facts clearly establish beyond question that Mathonsi Family Enterprises (Pvt) Limited sold the same property twice, firstly to the first respondent and secondly to the appellant.
“The court a quo was therefore, correct in treating the matter as a double sale dispute,” Justice Bhunu ruled.
Despite the existence of a valid High Court order and a caveat, the judge found that Mr Gong in connivance with the Mathonsi family business used criminal means to facilitate the illegal transfer.
“Notwithstanding the existence of a valid court order and a caveat barring transfer of the disputed property to any third party, the appellant in apparent connivance with Mathonsi Family (Pvt) Ltd somehow deviously managed to beat both judicial and administrative safeguards and obtained transfer of the property under Deed of Transfer 2541/ 14,” the court ruled.
It was the court’s finding that Mr Gong was also not innocent.