HARARE – Ex-Chitungwiza councillor Fredrick Mabamba is seeking to regain possession of $136 000 worth of land that he had used as surety in a university construction deal, but was seized by government.
He used the land to pay Development Services Africa (DSA), a company that provided him with architectural services for the mooted learning institution.
DSA is now demanding cash from Mabamba in lieu of the land.
“Sometime in 2013, plaintiff (DSA) and defendant (Mabamba) entered into an agreement whereby plaintiff was to do the architectural drawings for the project — People’s University in Africa (PUA) — a brain child of the defendant, which is to be built in Chitungwiza town.
“The parties agreed that upon completion of the work, the plaintiff was to be paid the sum of $186 884, which was to be paid in the form of land of the same value,” court papers say.
According to the parties’ agreement, part of the transaction was to be paid in cash.
“The plaintiff has since completed the architectural drawings for the defendant according to the specification save for the quantity survey report and the general purpose hall which items the defendant advised that plaintiff should not be prioritised for now,” the organisation said
It further said that despite demand, Mabamba has failed or neglected to pay the amount.
Mabamba told the court that when he entered into the agreement, he was acting on behalf of PUA, adding that he fulfilled his obligations by giving the firm land in the form of an undeveloped school stand in Caledonia.
“The defendant will further tell the court that he communicated to the plaintiff that the land had been given to him under certain terms and conditions, among them construction of classes within a required period. The defendant will tell the court that the plaintiff accepted this land with the terms and conditions that came with it,” he said.
He further said that way after the agreement had been finalised, the Local Government ministry mandated Urban Development Corporation to develop stands in Caledonia.
“The court will be told that plaintiff came to defendant indicating that the land had been repossessed and as such a replacement had to be made to fulfil the defendant’s obligations.
“Defendant refused indicating to plaintiff that the obligation had been fulfilled already and it was through its own fault that the land given to it had been repossessed,” Mabamba said.
The matter is yet to be finalised and was brought for a pre-trial conference before High Court judge Joseph Musakwa on Tuesday.