ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) boss Karikoga Kaseke faces eviction from a house he was leasing in the capital after a Harare civil court ordered him to vacate the premises.
Magistrate Never Katiyo recently ruled that Kaseke must leave the house in Sentosa, Mabelreign, in Harare even though his appeal to the High Court against a ruling of the Rent Board ordering him to vacate the property was still pending.
According to court records seen by the Zimbabwe Independent this week, Kaseke was renting the house from Zulekha Kara and was given three-months notice on October 26 2007 to vacate the premises. The notice commenced on November 1 2007.
“Despite being given the notice the respondent (Kaseke) failed to vacate the premises and thereafter I approached the Rent Board to obtain a certificate of ejectment,” Kara said in his application seeking an order to compel the ZTA boss to leave his house.
The certificate of ejectment was then granted on April 22 2008 and Kaseke had to vacate the premises by April 30. He did not leave.
Kara added: “Despite the certificate of ejectment the respondent failed or refused to vacate the premises so as to enable me to occupy the premises for my own personal use and occupation.
“I have been already severely prejudiced by the respondentâ€™s failure to vacate my premises after the Rent Board ruling and continue to be prejudiced. I cannot continue to pay exorbitant monthly rentals when in fact I have my own premises I can occupy.”
Kara said Kaseke went on to appeal against the Rent Board ruling to the High Court.
“I am advised and believe that the appeal does not suspend execution of the boardâ€™s certificate of ejectment. Respondent noted an appeal so as to buy time, harass me and does not have bona fides of testing correctiveness of the Rent Boardâ€™s order,” Kara added.
However, Kaseke in his opposing affidavit said he was not renting the house, instead he bought it from Kara in November 2003.
Kaseke said: “The purported lease agreement that the applicant relied on at the Rent Board had long expired on March 31 2005. In November 2003 I bought the house for US$200 000 consequent upon a verbal agreement entered into between Kara and myself on the understanding that the premises would be transferred to me on full payment.”
He said the full payment was made in December 2003 and Kara vacated the premises in January 2004.
“Kara himself did not transfer the property to myself arguing that his son in whose name the property is registered was outside the country. This is when I demanded a written agreement of sale which he kept promising until beginning of September when his son came,” Kaseke said.
He said he met Kara and his son at their house in Avondale and they told him (Kaseke) that the house was in the name of a trustee and the board of trustees now wanted US$50 000 to effect the transfer.
Kaseke said: “I argued for three months until Mr Kara and his son came to my office and threatened me. I eventually agreed to pay the US$50 000 but over a six month period. I was surprised to hear Mr Kara say he needed another US$50 000 taking the price first from US$200 000 to US$250 000 and now from US$250 000 to US$300 000.”
“I refused and demanded he transfers the property in my name as per our agreement. Then I was shocked to receive notice to vacate premises.”
However, Kara said the only agreement he entered into with Kaseke was a written lease agreement in 2004 which he attached to his application.
He said Kasekeâ€™s claims were “misleading, false and untrue”.
Kaseke said when he approached Kara after he received the notice to vacate the house in question, the applicant demanded US$50 000.
In August this year, another Harare magistrate Priscilla Chigumba also ruled in favour of Kara.
By Wongai Zhangazha