Bindura Municipality in land double allocation

BINDURA businessman, Phios Hoko has sued the local authority, demanding $304 000 compensation for loss of income and business.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Through his lawyers, Gumbo and Associates, Hoko issued summons against Bindura Municipality on November 1, 2018 and the council is yet to enter an appearance to defend the litigation.

In his declaration, Hoko said in 2007, he was allocated stand number 3020 Magamba Street, Aerodrome, Bindura for the purposes of erecting a service station.

According to Hoko, the stand was initially allocated to one Elias Kambasha but was repossessed from him in 2005 after he had failed to develop it. The businessman further said the council had not even entered into any form of agreement with the said Kambasha.

Hoko said when he was allocated the repossessed stand in 2007, his agreement with the council was reduced into writing in the form of a lease agreement dated July 31, 2007 following which he brought materials and started developing the stand.

However, Hoko said sometime in December 2015, just after he had constructed the service station up to slab level, he was stopped by the municipality from further developing the stand, claiming it had been re-issued to Kambasha.

“Defendant (Bindura Municipality) proceeded to re-issue the stand to Kambasha by resolution dated November 7, 2016. Plaintiff (Hoko) then approached the High Court challenging this resolution and judgment was granted in his favour on August 8, 2017 declaring him the owner of rights and interest in respect of the stand,” Hoko said.

“Plaintiff expected to start his operations at the stand on or around August 2015 if he had not been disturbed by defendants’ unlawful actions. He had entered into a lease agreement with Rollen Muchegwa who was to lease the said premises as from August 31, 2015 at a monthly rental of $3 500.”

The businessman further said he had plans to run a mini market on the site where he intended to sell consumables, car parts and stationery as well as providing photocopying services but his business plan was thrown off the rail by the municipality’s move.

“Plaintiff thus lost a total of $133 000 being a total of 38 months had he started operating in August 2015. He further lost prospective income from ancillary business in the estimated total of $150. Wherefore plaintiff claims: payment of $133 000 being loss of income for 38 months from August 2015 to date arising from the unlawful stoppage of construction work at plaintiff’s stand, payment of the sum of $171 000 being lost income from expected business…and interest at the prescribed rate and cost of suit,” he said.