Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
VICTORIA Fall Municipality (VFM) has approached the High Court seeking an eviction order against its former housing director who was recently fired for allegedly allocating a housing stand to his nephew without council approval.
VFM, through its lawyers Dube, Nkala and Company Legal Practitioners, filed an application citing its former housing and community services director, Mr Lot Siatimbula, as a respondent.
The council wants a court order directing Mr Siatimbula, and those claiming occupation through him, to immediate vacate its property situated at Stand Number 484 Jacaranda Drive in Victoria Falls.
In his founding affidavit, the Town Clerk, Mr Ronnie Dube, said they also want Mr Siatimbula to settle outstanding rates, water and electricity bills, which he incurred during his “illegal” stay at the council house. “This is an application for rei vindicatio. I seek an order evicting the respondent from Stand Number 484 Jacaranda Drive, Victoria Falls and payment of rates, utility bills and holdover damages. The applicant is the registered owner of the property, which is currently being occupied by the respondent who was employed as the director of housing and community services,” he said.
Mr Dube said Mr Siatimbula occupied the house by virtue of his employment, which has since been terminated.
“The respondent was dismissed from employment on March 31, 2017 resulting in him losing the right to continue occupying the house. The respondent continues to occupy the house and he is enjoying undisturbed occupation of the property at the expense and prejudice of the Victoria Falls Municipality,” he said.
Mr Dube said the council incurred water and electricity bills amounting to RTGS$2 737,05 between November 2017 and April 2019.
“The council continues to suffer financially as it has to pay rentals for its employees yet there is a property specifically meant to be occupied by municipal workers. The applicant is claiming holding over damages of RTG$13 950 calculated from November 2017 to date of refusing to vacate the premises,” he said.
Mr Dube said despite demand, Mr Siatimbula has remained defiant.
“The respondent has refused and failed to vacate the premises. It is against this background that we are making this application seeking the eviction of the respondent and all those who claim occupation through him,” he said.
Mr Siatimbula is yet to respond to the court application.
Mr Siatimbula was suspended without pay in February 2017 before he was later fired for allegedly having unprocedurally allocated Stand Number 1585 in Victoria Falls to his brother’s son who had not applied for it. He was convicted of criminal abuse of office by Victoria Falls magistrate, Ms Lindiwe Maphosa and fined $500 or five months in jail.
Mr Siatimbula then challenged his conviction and sentence at the High Court and was acquitted.