House-for-kombi swap deal turns sour

Court Reporter
Three siblings swapped their late parents’ house in Harare with a commuter omnibus and the kombi was extensively damaged after being involved in an accident within three months, a Harare magistrates’ court heard yesterday.

Wonder (30) and Nyamadzawo Pantiseni (33) together with their sister, still at large, had been given three months to vacate the premises by the new “owner” after they had entered into an agreement in which they were given the kombi, which was being sold for $10 000 in exchange for the house.

However, they later refused to vacate the Rugare home after the kombi was extensively damaged while being driven by one of the siblings. According to the State, the trio had no authority to sale the house without the Master of the High court’s consent.

Wonder and Nyamadzawo yesterday pleaded guilty to a fraud charge when they appeared before the magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe.

They were sentenced to 24 months in prison but six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour. Mr Mahwe further set aside 12 months on condition they restitute $10 000 to the complainant. The remaining six months were suspended on condition they each perform 210 hours of community service.

Sometime in October 2009 Paul Banda was selling his kombi and displayed his mobile number on it.

Wonder saw the kombi and contacted Banda on the supplied contact details. Acting in connivance, the trio told Banda that the house belonged to Wonder and that he was selling it. They then offered to swap the house with the kombi. Banda went to the house for viewing and he got interested in the deal.

On January 29, 2010 Banda gave his kombi to the accused persons to which they entered into a swap deal which was acknowledged by both accused while they waited to enter into an agreement of sale.

Later on that day an agreement of sale was entered into between Banda and the three siblings.

Banda gave them three months’ grace period to vacate the house to pave way for his occupation. After some months, the kombi was involved in an accident and it was a write-off and the trio refused to leave the house. They disowned the agreement of sale they had signed prompting Banda to report the case.