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    Sunday, 29 January 2017

    $2m private school to open as Pote wins land wrangle


    ZVISHAVANE – Prominent Southern Region businessman, Clever Pote has won a land wrangle over a 2,86h piece of land 10km outside Zvishavane, clearing the way for the opening  of a $2 million state of the art private school built at Woodlands Farm.
    Pote Holdings general manager, Tamson Mthombeni confirmed the High Court order which was given in favour of his company by Bulawayo Judge, Justice Bere on January 20, 2017.
    He said that the High Court case though was not the cause of the delay of the opening of the school. He said the opening had not yet taken place because a dining hall and a kitchen were still being built.
    "We were not stopped from opening the school because of the High Court case brought against us. This case did not disrupt our progress on the school because we had all our papers for the land right. We are finishing the building of a kitchen and a dining hall then we will tell you when we are opening the school," said Mthombeni.
    The land wrangle between Pote trading as Makanaka Holdings and Runde Lodge proprietor Norah Kanganga Mushore ran for the past three years. Justice Bere dismissed the court application filed by Mushore on June 23, 2015 through her lawyers Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners declaring that Pote had no legal ownership of the piece of land.
    Mushore represented by her legal counsel Leopold Mudisi submitted that sometime in 2000 she concluded an agreement of sale of an unnamed piece of land along the Masvingo-Zvishavane road with the first respondents Runde Rural District Council for an unspecified figure. However, Runde RDC through their lawyers Danziger and Partners refuted the claims made by Mushore and said that she had not purchased any land from council but had shown interest to do so and that process was never concluded.
    The third respondent in the matter Pote represented by Tino Midzi of H Tafa and Associates denied the alleged impropriety in its acquisition of the land amounting to 60,26 hectares on which it had constructed an agricultural institution alleging that the piece of land had been acquired above board through the second respondent, the Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlementand Runde RDC.
    Judge Bere said Mushore failed to table evidence that she had really purchased the land and her counsel Mudisi was not able to table before the court the agreement of sale.
    "Given the nature of the applicant's claim as formulated in its founding affidavit, it was important for it to bring to the fore evidence confirming it had indeed purchased the unnamed piece of land from first respondent (Runde RDC)…The applicant's counsel, Mudisi was not able to table before the court the agreement of sale despite him being challenged by both first and second respondents' counsels," read Bere's vedict.
    Bere said Mudisi somersaulted and changed goal posts by alleging that the applicant (Mushore) had in fact entered into a lease agreement and a sale agreement. Bere stated that there was no way Runde RDC could have sold a piece of land without a name or diagram for such. He added that the annexture submitted by Mushore just showed that there was serious dialogue between her and Runde RDC with her desire to have a land to built a lodge and nothing more.local news
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