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    Saturday, 6 July 2019

    Smelly Dube, Hove in double stands allocation nightmare


    ELIZABETH MASHIRI
    MIDLANDS BUREAU

    GWERU – Thirteen home seekers are suing Luke Hove for selling them stands at Hertfordsheir Phase 2 in Gweru that were later repossessed by River Valley Properties chief executive officer Smelly Dube and then sold to new clients.
    This emerged at the hearings that were before the Commission of Inquiry into the Sale of State land in and around urban areas since 2005 in Gweru last week.
    Giving his evidence before the Commission, Mugeza Hove said the 300 hectare Herfordsheir Farm was bought by his disabled brother Luke Hove who stayed in the UK. However, the brother failed to pay off the white commercial farmer from whom he bought the property and the deal was called off.
    After the onset of the land reform programme in 2012, Government acted on humanitarian grounds and offered the same farm to Luke who is now deceased.
    Hove told the Commission that there were then quick changes to the ownership of the property with new players as  Dube coming in quick succession and within six months claiming that they were offered the same farm by Government.
    He said that Dube who claimed to be the new owner offered Hove compensation of 55 stands plus a homestead and of those he sold 13. He was surprised with Dube who then allegedly came back to repossess all the 55 stands.
    “I was given 55 stands plus a homestead by River Valley and out of those l sold 13 stands. However River Valley later repossessed all the 55 stands and sold them to other beneficiaries meaning there was double allocation at the 13 stands l had sold.
    “Right now the 13 beneficiaries to whom l had sold stands are suing me for taking their money,” said Hove who appealed for the Commission to help him.
    Commissioner Heather Chingono however asked Hove why he sold stands at a piece of land which was not his.
    “I understand that the land was offered to you for agricultural use but it was not made your own personal property meaning the Government could withdraw its offer at any time if it so wished. So were you being compensated for something that was not yours,” said Chingono.
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