Zanu PF benefactor sued for failing to pay rent

MIDLANDS businesswoman and Zanu PF official Smelly Dube is in trouble for failing to pay rentals for a property she leased through a Bulawayo-based estate agent, John Pocock Company (Private) Limited.

BY SILAS NKALA

The property owner, Elphas Maphisa, has sued John Pocock Company over outstanding rentals and other expenses totalling $10 000.

Dube, who owns River Valley Properties in Gweru, has since February 2015 been leasing Maphisa’s property at 18 Pingstone Road, Khumalo, Bulawayo, but is alleged to have defaulted on her rental obligations.

John Pocock Company denied that Dube defaulted, adding that she never occupied the whole property.

The lease agreement was signed on February 10 2015 between John Pocock Company and Dube who was represented by Limukani Sibanda, a director of River Valley Properties.

Under the terms of the agreement, the estate agent was to receive a commission of 17% or $456,75 for management of the property, while Maphisa would receive net rentals income of $2 500 per month.

Maphisa submitted that in violation of their own procedure John Pocock Company failed to carry due diligence checks on Dube’s financial status before allowing her to lease the property, but the estate agent said they only knew Dube as an influential Zanu PF philanthropist.

The matter is being heard by Bulawayo magistrate Sheunesu Matova.