THE legal wrangle between two former PF Zapu combatants, Jeffrey Ndlovu and the late Akim Ndlovu’s wife, over ownership of an ex-Zipra property in Bulawayo took a new twist last week after the latter sought an out-of-court settlement deal to end the dispute.
BY SILAS NKALA
The two parties have for the past two years been fighting over ownership of a house at stand number 57 Greham Road, Lockview in Bulawayo, registered under Zipra’s investment arm, Nitram Investments.
Ndlovu, whose Chimurenga name was Kenneth Murwiri, claims that the property was allocated to him by the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo as part of his benefits after he lost his eyesight during the liberation struggle.
However, the same property was registered in Akim Ndlovu’s estate by Lazarus and Sariff Legal Practitioners.
Ndlovu’s lawyer, Vuyile Mpofu, last week said Akim’s lawyer, who earlier gave notice to oppose summons, indicated they now wanted an out-of-court settlement through the signing of a deed of settlement. But Ndlovu has since summoned Akim’s estate executors, demanding transfer rights and title deeds for the property.
Part of the summons read: “In the event of the first defendant (Lazarus and Sariff Legal Practitioners)’s failure to do so the third defendant (Deputy Sheriff) be and is hereby ordered to sign all the necessary documents for the transfer of title from the estate of the late Akim Ndlovu to the plaintiff in respect of (the house).”
Ndlovu also sought to have the Registrar of Deeds ordered to take all necessary steps to ensure title in respect of the house was transferred to him.
In his declaration, Ndlovu said sometime in 1980 he returned from the liberation war, wounded and blinded and was told by the late Nkomo that the party would purchase him a house.
“Nitram (Pvt) Limited, a company owned by ex-Zipra combatants purchased (the house) for the plaintiff. In May 1980, the plaintiff moved into the house and lived undisturbed for 34 years,” the declaration read.
“The purchase transaction was handled on behalf of Nitram by Akim, who registered the house in his name, as there were several other ex-combatants temporarily housed in the premises at the time.”
Akim passed away in 2009.
“Plaintiff is the rightful owner of the property and seeks an order to delist his property from the estate of the late Akim Ndlovu administered by the first defendant,” read the declaration.
Mpofu said parties had prepared for a hearing on the matter when Lazarus and Sariff indicated they were opting for a deed of settlement.