Widow faces eviction

AN ELDERLY woman from Romney Park in Bulawayo faces eviction from a house after the death of her husband who had reportedly agreed with his employer that she would buy the couple a house after failing to pay him for more than 22 years.

REPORT BY SILAS NKALA

The employer, based in the United Kingdom, had reportedly promised to buy a house for the couple in the high-density suburbs as compensation for failing to pay the husband’s salary.

However, the husband died last year and his 65-year old widow now faces eviction.

The widow, Reginah Ncube, on Friday told the Southern Eye that her late husband, Peter Ngwenya, had been employed as a caretaker to supervise the construction of the house.

“My husband was employed by the owner of the house as a caretaker and to oversee its construction,” she said.

“They agreed that she would pay him $40 per month and they agreed that instead of paying him cash she would buy him a house and furniture in the western suburbs.”

Ncube said after the death of her husband, the owner of the house early this year filed an application for her eviction from the house and there was no longer any talk of her husband’s outstanding wages. A Bulawayo magistrate early this year ordered Ncube’s eviction from the house after Stella Kaputalamba, through her lawyer Wilson Donzwa, applied for her to be evicted.

Part of the eviction application reads, “Plaintiff (Kaputalamba) entered into an agreement with the defendant’s late husband, Peter Ngwenya, where they agreed that the defendant’s late husband was to stay and oversee construction at the plaintiff’s house until it was fully complete.

“The defendant’s late husband was not paying any rentals. She was supposed to vacate upon completion of the house.”

The lawyer submitted that her husband passed away before the house was complete and Ncube continued to stay under the same arrangement with the plaintiff.

“The house is now complete and the defendant must be given notice to vacate so that the plaintiff occupies the house,” the lawyer submitted. “The defendant is currently subletting.”

But through a lawyer from Legal Resources Centre, Ncube filed an application for rescission of the ruling that compelled her to move out. In her founding affidavit Ncube said, “I wish to add that it’s a long dispute between respondent herein and my late husband.

“My late husband had been a caretaker of the property in dispute since 1990 in return for wages, but nothing was paid to him.

“The respondent had also promised to buy my deceased husband a house in the western suburbs in return for his services, which has not been done to date.”

She submitted that there was a pending case at the Labour and Social Welfare ministry for the claims of the late husband.

Ncube also submitted that Kaputalamba had failed to abide by the terms of agreement she had with her late husband and therefore, could not evict her.

“I have nowhere to go. I therefore make an application for a rescission of judgment,” she submitted. But Kaputalamba’s lawyer, Donzwa in his opposing affidavit, said Ncube’s application does not in any away satisfy the set requirements for an application for rescission of judgment in that it does spell out the applicant’s defence. He said his client never entered into a house buying agreement with Ncube’s husband, hence he prayed that her application for rescission be dismissed.

Ncube said an unknown messenger came to the house on Friday and told her to vacate this weekend, but she has not moved out. Twitter feedback @silasnkala

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