THE Gordon flats or the former State-owned houses currently at the centre of an attempted demolitions and evictions exercise by the supposedly new owner, has been and is currently occupied by about 64 former or current public servants and their families for the last 30 years or so.
Both the tenants and the supposedly new owner and developer, have come out against each other, with the tenants claiming the dubious and suspicious means by which the property were acquired, and the developer claiming that the property had been tendered by the NHC board and that he was the successful bidder and accordingly paid for and had titles transferred to his company.
It is reported that both parties have been involved in court litigation for almost 12 years now, (since 2007), with the developer claiming victory in each of those court cases, while the tenants here have continued obtaining restraining court orders against the developer.
The developer further iterates that it had even offered cash incentives, transport and also asked the tenants to take down any roofing iron and move on but they have consistently sought restraining orders from the courts.
Both the former housing minister John Kaupa, and the current Housing and Urban Development Minister Justin Tkatchenko, have come into the scene, where according to the former, the sales of the property was made under commercial transactions terms by the NHC board, hence all the parties should discuss an amicable solution to address the issues.
Tkatchenko, however, says that the properties are worth about K20 million, and that the developer purchased them in suspicious circumstances, for a mere K600,000 hence had ascertained that both the demolitions and evictions had been put on hold until further notice.
The developer on the other hand has claimed that he had been generous to the tenants for the last 12 years, saying that it is more than enough time for them to have vacated the premises.
A number of questions that needs addressing over this issue, is whether any of the tenants occupying these properties were ever given opportunities to participate in one of the various government’s housing ownership sales schemes, introduced in the 1980’s by the NEC?
It would be quite surprising if the tenants here did participate in the sales schemes, managed by the NHC!
If the tenants here were actually participating under the government’s housing ownership sales schemes, then how could the developer would have been allowed in broad daylight to have acquired the property, where it is very clear these flats were physically occupied by the tenants?
On the contrary, it seemed that the NHC board had decided in its wisdom that there were no tenants occupying these flats and hence unequivocally decided to sell the property to the developer without fully considering the rights and interests of the tenants occupying these properties!
Did the NHC board through its management ever undertook any prior investigations or assessments prior to the property being sold to the developer?
Why was the interests of the private developer given priority over the occupying tenants?
How the tenants’ interests could be blatantly ignored by the NHC Board and what is or was so special about this private developer to have been given priority over the occupying tenants?
The occupying tenants here were clearly deprived of their rights and interests over the property as a result of the unfair and irregular dealings by the NHC board and its management.
Why was there no transparent process made by the NHC board and its management, so that the sitting tenants would have been equally involved to make their views known?
It would seem to me that there was a total exclusion and preference shown by the NHC board and its management to the advantage of the private developer only, and this is totally unfair and lacks transparency.
I would therefore, advise the tenants to seek the services of a committed lawyer to have the title over the property nullified because of the irregularities involved in this corrupt dealings.