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Top lawyer sued over botched house deal

SENIOR Harare lawyer Charles Chinyama has been dragged to court by a woman, who alleges that he fraudulently transferred the title to her US$180 000 Eastlea house into his name over a US$33 000 debt.

Constance Ndaipa Chivhunga was ejected from the property in October 2015 after Chinyama had obtained an eviction order from the High Court.

She now wants Chinyama chucked out of the house because he has collected his dues from rentals.

Chivhunga has cited Chinyama and the Registrar of Deeds as respondents. The court heard that on October 14, 2014, Chivhunga borrowed US$33 000 from Chinyama, which was deposited into her husband Simon Bhiri's bank account.

In terms of the agreement, Chivhunga would pay back Chinyama in 45 days at an agreed rate of capital US$33 000 plus interest of US$28 000, making the total due US$61 000.

Chinyama then allegedly fraudulently prepared an agreement of sale of Chivhunga's Eastlea house which was used as collateral when she borrowed the money.

The court heard when Chivhunga raised objections to signing the agreement of sale, Chinyama convinced her that it was a way of protecting his legal profession since the transaction was illegal.

"I agreed to this explanation in good faith, rationalising that the first respondent was helping me out not knowing that I was selling my house to the first respondent.

"The funds which I borrowed from the first respondent were strictly for a business venture for me and my husband and unfortunately the deal dragged on and eventually collapsed, resulting in us failing to repay the borrowed money as per agreement," Chivhunga said.

Chivhunga said Chinyama seemed to understand their plight until they received summons ordering them to transfer their house into his name and leave the property for failing to pay back the debt.

Efforts to engage Chinyama outof-court proved futile after Chivhunga and her family were eventually evicted out of the house in October 2015.

"Whilst acknowledging my indebtedness to the first respondent, I do believe that the latter was not an honest broker in all our dealings with him. It is totally unreasonable for one to have surrendered a property valued US$180 000 for an amount of US$33 000.

"The first respondent has shown no interest in recovering his money, but instead is pushing to take over my property. In my view, the unreasonable route to have recovered the money would have been perhaps a judgment against me to sell the property in order for him to recover his outstanding loan," Chivhunga added.

She now claims that 61 months have lapsed since she was evicted from the property and that Chinyama has collected his US$61 000 from rentals that he is charging at US$1 000 per month.

Chinyama is yet to respond to Chivhunga's court application.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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