Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri and an army-owned company, have been taken to court by an Oman-based businessman, Thamer Said Ahmed Al Shanfari following moves to seize his Harare properties.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Shanfari recently filed a High Court application seeking an order for placement of a caveat over his four immovable properties namely stand numbers, 98, 99, 100 and 101 Glen Lorne Township 8 of Lot 40A Glen Lorne, which the Defence ministry was in the process of grabbing.
The Oman businessman said he filed the application after realising that chances were very high that he could lose his investments given the political power wielded by Muchinguri and her ministry.
“I (Shanfari) am also the primary beneficiary in the above mentioned properties in terms of the notarial deed of donation and trust (Ref 339)….in this instance I do have a clear caveatable interest, and this application is motivated by my reasonable apprehension that the respondents (Minister Muchinguri and others) are about to completely dispossess me of my properties and given the political and State power that is wielded by some of the respondents, the prejudice I stand to suffer if I do not act now, could be irreversible and the respondents have failed or refused to resolve my dispute with them amicably,” Shanfari said in his founding affidavit.
Shanfari said when the immovable properties were purchased, they were vacant stands, with no structures on them except for a small house on Stand 99 Glen Lorne. The small structure was shortly, thereafter, completely demolished to make way for the construction of new, massive and costly structure.
“I financed the construction of the main structure which was custom-made to suit my peculiar tastes and an entertainment area. After completion of the construction project, I resided at the subject property for intermittent periods, but have generally lived outside Zimbabwe for many years,” he said.
“On February 27, 2019, my agent (Alan Passaportis) received a letter of demand from the first respondent’s (Muchinguri) legal practitioners (that is Titan Law)….representing second and third respondents (Defence ministry and Rusununguko Nkululeko Holdings) interests. Titan Law alleged in the said letter that its client had regularised the ownership relating to the properties and that I was to hand over the property to the second respondent.”
According to Shanfari, all the documentation pertaining to the acquisition and ownership of the properties are presently in the custody of the Defence ministry’s lawyers.
He said sometime in 2012, he engaged Chibune & Associates Legal Practitioners to handle his legal affairs relating to his various business interests in the country. But during the same year Chibune fell ill and he transferred the files and documents to Titan Law to manage his legal affairs and business interests in Zimbabwe.
The businessman also said the documents showed that he owned the properties in his capacity as the director of Bourhill Investments (Private) Limited, Graphic Investments (Private) Limited and as a beneficiary of the Fifty Seven Folyjon Trust.
In the application, Shanfari cited Muchinguri, the Defence ministry, Rusununguko Nkululeko Holdings, Folyjon Garden (Private) Limited, Defence ministry, Deputy Chief Secretary for administration and finance, Martin Rushwaya and Registrar of Deeds in Harare as respondents. The matter is pending.