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    Thursday, 14 January 2016

    Chiredzi lands officer’s son loses land case

    Mirror Reporter

    –  The court case pitting Diga Mandiudza and Lloyd Chimoto the son of Chiredzi District Lands officer Jacob Chimoto has raised eyebrows after it emerged in court that the later facilitated for his son to get a piece of land that had been properly allocated to Mandiudza.
    Magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga dismissed Chimoto's application for Mandiudza to be evicted from a piece of land he was offered by Government in 2009.
    Chimoto had applied to the courts to have Mandiudza kicked out of a piece of land described as Subdivision 5 of Lot 6 in Mkwasine which he was offered by Government.
    It was argued in court that  Jacob is the one who facilitated the offer of that land to Mandiudza who is a senior Government official but it is his same office that was now trying to withdraw the land in favour of the lands officer's son.
    The land was now being offered to the Lands Officer's son despite the fact that Government had not revoked its agreement with Mandiudza.
    The Minister of State for Masvingo, Shuvai Mahofa recently told First Lady Grace Mugabe at a rally held in Gutu that there was a lot of corruption in the lands office in Masvingo and accused officers of taking away land from widows and other people with offer letters and then redistributing that land to friends and relatives.
    She said there were always long queues of people lining up at her offices to complain against the lands officers.
    Collen Maboke of Maboke and Associates who represented Mandiudza argued that the procedure used by Chimoto in seeking remedy was wrong since he was being represented by a lawyer, Georgina Ndava of Mangwana and Partners. He said the matter should have been addressed by way of summons instead of an application for an eviction.
    Maboke argued that there was material dispute of facts and therefore several witnesses were supposed to be called to testify in court.
    Magistrate Mhlanga accepted Maboke's argument and dismissed the case.
    The magistrate also accepted the second argument that Chimoto did not exhaust local remedies.
    Chimoto initially took his case to the Chiredzi lands committee and it was dismissed in favour of Mandiudza. Maboke argued that after that step, Chimoto was supposed to take his case to the provincial lands committee which is headed by .....Chimbishi but instead he went to court for an eviction order.
    It was also noted that Mandiudza was paying taxes for the piece of land which showed that he was the legitimate owner of the land.news
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