In a recent ruling reported by The Manica Post, a diaspora couple, Godwin Gudu and his wife, have been ordered to vacate a three-bedroomed house they built on land embroiled in a legal dispute. The couple purchased the land from Luke Chikukwa in Maunzani Village, Chimanimani, for US$900, unaware of the ownership dispute surrounding the property.

Despite investing US$10,000 to develop the house with modern amenities such as tapped water, flush toilets, a security fence, and a borehole, the court ruled in favor of the rightful owner, Richard Chikomba. Mutare magistrate Ms. Purity Gumbo mandated the Gudus to pay US$50 per month in holding over damages if they continue to occupy the property.

The court’s decision has left the Gudu family in a precarious situation, as they face eviction and homelessness. While they await their fate, they demand alternative accommodation from Chikukwa, the initial seller of the disputed land. Furthermore, they plan to pursue legal action to recoup the US$10,000 they invested in developing the property.

This case highlights the complexities surrounding land ownership and the legal rights of occupants, particularly in rural communities. Despite their efforts to improve the property, the Gudu family now finds themselves entangled in a legal battle for the right to occupy the house they built. As the dispute unfolds, it underscores the importance of due diligence and legal clarity when purchasing land, especially in areas where ownership may be contested.