Ex-Gutu RDC Boss’ Efforts To Avoid Litigation Fails

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By Mary Taruvinga

EFFORTS to evade litigation by former Gutu Rural District Council (RDC) administrator, Makepeace Muzenda who is accused of trying to dupe her late husband’s other widow in estate distribution, has flopped after the High Court dismissed her application.

Muzenda had filed a court application requesting that a fraud case brought against her by the estate executor, Freddy Chimbari be thrown out.

Chimbari had sued her over allegations of fraudulently changing her late husband, Kudakwashe Mutongi’s property, into her name to gain an unfair advantage over the other woman in the polygamous relationship.

The property was allegedly changed into her name in an inside job in connivance with Gutu RDC  officials who helped facilitate fake documents giving her entitlement to the property.

However, High Court judge, Justice Owen Tagu dismissed her request for an order issued recently.

“Whereupon, after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that the applications for absolution from the instance are dismissed. There is no order as to costs,” the order reads.

According to Chimbari who sued Muzenda together with Gutu RDC chief executive, the fake documents were obtained through fraudulent means in order to convince him not to include the property on the list for equitable distribution with the other woman in the union as well as the children.

Mutongi, according to the court papers, died in early 2000 but the property was listed in his name in the inventory with the Master of High Court.

In her submissions to the court on August 28, 2019, Muzenda alleged she approached the chief executive of the Gutu RDC in 2004 with a request to be allocated commercial land before she was subsequently allocated the same property under dispute the same year.

“However, because of the passage of time and the first defendant’s transfers from one local authority to another over the last 15 years, she cannot locate her receipts. She recalls that in some cases, she would ask her late husband to go and pay the second defendant’s offices.

Her lawyers said she was awarded the lease in 2009 and signed it on September 21 the same year.

Muzenda said Chimbari’s claims do not hold substance and should not be taken seriously by the court.

She added there was, therefore, no proof that anything was paid towards the purported purchase price for the property.

Muzenda had also argued that her late husband was a businessman yet, no reasonable explanation was given by all the witnesses why the deceased being a businessman failed to request for a lease to buy agreement for a property that he was investing a lot of money into.