Home-seekers cry foul

A heated land dispute is raging between Jockstar Investments and home-seekers who bought property at Mount Pleasant Heights Phase 2 in Mashonaland Central’s Mazowe district.

People bought plots ranging from 2,000 square metres to 2,700 square metres for $15,000 – $17,000 from the company as far back as 2007. They accuse the company of fraudulently reducing the plots by 500 square metres and reneging on the original agreements.

The affected individuals, who have formed themselves into a lobby group called Mount Pleasant Heights Residents Association, say the developer failed to fully service the land as promised. Some members told The Zimbabwean Jockstar was now demanding $6,500 as a development fee.

“This was not in the agreement of sale that we signed when we bought the land. We have also discovered that the stands we bought have been reduced in size without our consent or consultation,” said one buyer.

“They cancelled all the plans that we had and this means that out of the original 352 plots there are now 395 stands meaning the company stands to benefit at our expense. Now we cannot go on our land without paying the $6,500 and getting clearance from the company. We were not compensated for the loss,” he added.

Documents shown to this newspaper indicate that the residential project, which falls under Mazowe Rural District Council, had its conditions of engagement altered without the town planning department being informed of home-seekers’ objections, as required by law.

“Jockstar were supposed to inform the Surveyor General that people with vested interests agreed to have the stands modified, but this was not done,” another buyer said.

This anomaly was acknowledged by the Local Government physical planning department, which noted in a letter: “Please note that the said application for re-planning was not accompanied by information on any other interested parties.” In the letter, the provincial planning officer named as E Zungula advised the buyers to pursue the matter with the “relevant agencies” as the company was already issued with a re-planning permit.

Some buyers have agreed to the conditions imposed by the developer. “The company is using divide and rule tactics. They have managed to win over some of our colleagues to their side,” said another buyer.

The plot owners vowed to continue fighting to get their land back and force Jockstar to adhere to agreed terms of sale, adding that they have on several occasions been chased away from their plots by the company’s security guards.

Earlier reports had indicated that Jaison Passade, the Zanu (PF) Member of Parliament for Mount Pleasant, had solved the dispute between Jockstar and the buyers. Walter Mudonhi, a Director at Jockstar, said he was not in a position to comment.

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