Court Orders Cephas Msipa Off the Land

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THE Crowhill Farm ownership wrangle was yesterday settled out of court when the warring parties reached a settlement which acknowledges that the upmarket property is owned by Mr Ozias Bvute and orders Mr Cephas Msipa to immediately cease all projects on the land. The consent order was yesterday confirmed by High Court judge Justice Bhunu in his chambers.

Mr Msipa, Crowhill Farms (Crowhill Pvt) Ltd, Mr Themba Hlongwane, The Registrar of Deeds and the Sheriff are cited as first; second, third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively.

Mr Bvute had taken his erstwhile developer to the High Court seeking vindication as the legal owner of the land which Mr Msipa was holding on to.

Mr Msipa had subdivided more than 4 000 stands on the farm.

Speaking after the consent order was confirmed, Mr Bvute’s lawyers, Mr Wellington Pasipanodya and Mr Tinashe Tanyanyiwa of Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners, said the parties had reached a compromise.

“We had filed a consent order which had been negotiated between the parties.

“The judge called us into chambers and we were able to have the judge then confirm the consent order as had been discussed by the parties,” said Mr Tanyanyiwa.

“The consent order acknowledges that Crowhill Farm is owned by Mr Ozias Bvute and that Crowhill (Pvt) Ltd (registered by Mr Cephas Msipa) will cease all projects on the land which will then be taken over by Crowhill Farm; that is Mr Bvute and his management team,” he said.

The consent order says that all certificates of registered title currently in the name of Crowhill Farm are the company’s property.

“The first and second respondents are ordered to immediately return, upon the granting of this order, all certificates of registered title in the name of the applicant.

“The first and second respondents and all those claiming rights and authority through them are ordered to cease forthwith any operations to do with Crowhill Properties Owners Association,” the order says.

Mr Tanyayiwa said the fact that both parties were able to come together and resolve the matter was a good thing.

“It means that both parties are committed to ensuring the full development of the area because the area is an upmarket area and there needs to be rapid development,” he said.

“My client (Mr Bvute) is committed to fully developing the area. It is a welcome victory not only for our client but for everyone who has a stake in Crowhill Estates,” Mr Tanyanyiwa added.

He said people who had bought stands at the farm would not lose their properties but would be asked to pay more over a period of time considering that the prices that some of the land was sold for was below premium. Properties around Crowhill sell at prices above US$60-US$200 per square metre.

“Everyone holding title deeds acquired them through a flawed process and thus acquired defective title.

“However, my client has resolved to be magnanimous and he is inviting everyone with an interest in the land by virtue of having these title deeds to work with us to rectify this matter and gain proper legal title,” Mr Tanyanyiwa said.

“His vision is that this place should be commensurate with areas in the vicinity. I believe that anyone who is serious about investing in Crowhill will see that as a welcome development. So people should not worry about anything.

“The owner is there and is going to make sure that this place is developed as he wants it to be and as everyone wants it to be,” he said.

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