Local Governance

Jah Prayzah, KVG cross Samora Machel

Disc Jockey, KVG receives keys to her home from Pokugara Properties COO, Tatiana Aleshina

By Nyasha Mutena

Musician Jah Prayzah and Star FM Disc Jockey Kudzai Violet Gwara popularly known as KVG are the latest beneficiaries at Pokugara Properties after being given homes in the plushy suburbs of Borrowdale.

Whilst details of how the parties reached the deal remain confidential, questions have since been raised over the authenticity of the deal.

According to one Dr Controlla Gabi on social media platform Twitter, Pokugara Properties is selling its plushy Pokugara Estate houses using an outdated concept which is being phased out in the United Kingdom.

Gabi said Pokugara Properties was using a leasehold instead of the morden freehold arrangement.

A leasehold arrangement means that when one buys a property, ownership of the land remains in the hands of the seller and attracts monthly rentals. Leasehold also has a tenure period and once it expires the ownership of the property reverts to the original owner.

In a five threaded Twitter response to West Properties post about KVG acquiring a new home at Pokugara Estate, Gabi said he was worried about Pokugara Estate leasehold arrangement which he said was an eternal debt trap.

“Congratulations KVG. I hope they gave you a fair contract for the property. I have raised the issue of leaseholds @WestPropZim which they have introduced in Zim whereby the property buyer doesn’t own the land their property is on. Haven’t responded. Star FM hasn’t commented either.

“It’s unclear how much legal protection buyers have against the legal jeopardy of leaseholds. You’d think developers would be transparent about this. It’s worrying that, with the brand ambassadorships being issued to celebrities, scrutiny disappears with conflict of interest.

“Leaseholds are an eternal debt trap. Home owners will continue to pay rent on the land their house is built on. It’s been a controversial scheme here in the UK.

“With a leasehold, you’ll always pay rent on the land on which your home is built. There must be an option to buy the land or just rent to buy the land which should give ownership of the land at some point. With no legal protection, land rent will go up or change hands. Uncertainty.

“Although unlikely, it is possible that, in a leasehold agreement, the price of the lease may end up being unaffordable. It’s unclear what will happen in such circumstances. Would you lose your property, for example? Star FM must facilitate this discussion on their programmes,” tweeted Gabi.

West Properties, which is the company behind Pokugara Estate did not respond to Gabi’s thread in what could be a confirmation of the leasehold agreement fears.

Pokugara Estate is currently a subject of various court challenges after Sharpe’s shelf company allegedly entered into an agreement with a Harare land developer Georgios Katsimberis.

According to various court papers seen by this publication, Katsimberis and Sharpe entered into a joint venture agreement where the former would provide money while the latter avails land for the construction of cluster homes at the corner of Teviotdale and Whitwell Road in Borrowdale.

Sharpe allegedly connived with City of Harare officials to destroy a show house worthy US$300,000 built by Katsimberis citing fabrication of architectural plans, a claim Katsimberis denies.

West Properties kingpin, Sharpe left the country nearly 4 years ago and is believed to be hiding in Mauritius. He is wanted by the authorities for several criminal charges dating back to 2009