By Jane Mlambo| A controversial joint venture company between City of Harare and discredited businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe, Sunshine Development Private Limited has approached the High Court to evict current leaseholders Warren Hills Golf Club as it seeks convert the recreational facility into residential houses, documents in ZimEye’s possession can reveal.
According to a High Court application filed by Sunshine Developments which is 70 percent controlled by Sharpe, City of Harare who had a lease with Warren Hills Golf Club are no-longer the owners of the 80 hectare recreational facility as it was transferred to the joint venture company.
“Plaintiff (Sunshine Development Pvt Ltd) is the owner of Stand Number 8113 Warren Park township of Warren Park, Harare by virtue of Deed of Transfer 1027483/2008 issued to it by the Registrar of Deeds on the 26th of September 2008 where defendant (Warren Hills Golf Club) operates its golf club.
“Defendant has been in occupation of the premises by virtue of a lease agreement granted to it by City of Harare, the previous owner of the land which lease agreement expired on the 30th of April 2019,” reads part of the application.
The current lease holders of Warren Hills Golf Club recently renewed their lease agreement by a further 20 years meaning they have ownership of the premises until 30 April 2039.
But a letter from Chinawa Law Chambers to Warren Hills Golf Club, the renewed lease agreement is null and void as it was issued in error.
Their previous lease agreement was entered into on the 17th of May 1971.
City of Harare also wrote to Warren Hills golf club lease, City of Harare on 22 July 2020 informing them of the cancellation of the lease saying it was issued in error as the land no longer belonged to them.
“I refer to the above mentioned issue and regret to advise that the recent lease renewal in respect of stand 8113 Warren Park Township to yourselves was issued in error as the land in question no longer belongs to the City
“The land has since been transferred to Sunshine Development (Pvt) Ltd under deed of transfer No. 7483/2008 hence City of Harare hereby withdraws the lease since the land is now privately owned and the municipality no longer has any jurisdiction over it,” said City of Harare.
In its defence, Warren Hills Golf Club opened a can of worms saying the issue was being investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission with preliminary results pointing to unprocedural and irregular disposal of the reserved land to Sharpe’s company.
“Investigations by the Ministry of Local Government still in progress have to date established unprocedural and grossly irregular disposal of reserved land to plaintiff without informing the sitting lessee change of use, full council approval and ministerial consent
“By reason of investigations aforesaid, the national agency investigating corruption (ZACC) was and is seized with the matter and is currently unravelling the corrupt and unprocedural activities that created the title deed relied on by plaintiff with a view to regularity in the matter,” said Warren Hills Golf Club.
Warren Hillls Golf Club has also dismissed desperate attempts by Sunshine Developments to divert rentals due to City of Harare to them.
“In the premises plaintiff is not lawful and legitimate owner of the land occupied and used by defendant and has no legal right to demand rent from defendant or its removal from the premises,” added Warren Hills Golf Club.