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Farmer ordered to pay $50 000

A farmer who instructed an estate agent to find a buyer for his property but later negotiated a separate deal was ordered to pay the agent $50 150 commission after a High Court Judge ruled that the agent was instrumental in arranging the deal.

Agson Mfuta Chioza gave Merctrust Real Estate the mandate to sell his Rothbury Farm in the Mazowe area in September last year. Msika of Merctrust introduced Hosea Mapondera to Chioza and a contract of sale was concluded with the farm to be sold to Negomo Associates which was represented by Mapondera.

The contract was, however, subject to Mapondera obtaining a loan from Zimbabwe Banking Corporation or alternatively from J T E Associates a company run by his brother, John Mapondera.

The sale was cancelled after Negomo Associates failed to agreed conditions. Hosea Mapondera, however, asked Msika to take John Mapondera to the farm. Later Hosea, John, Msika and Chioza met at J T E Associates and John Mapondera said he wanted to renegotiate the purchase price which Hosea and Chioza had agreed on.

As a result the farm was sold to Independent Property Development in which the Mapondera brothers are directors and shareholders.

Chioza argued that he could not pay commission because when he advised Merctrust that he was negotiating with Independent Property Development which was represented by John Tendayi Enoch Maponera, a different company and a different individual from those involved in Negomo Associates which Merctrust had negotiated with, they showed little interest in the transaction and took no steps to facilitate it.

He said the agreement with Independent Property Development was negotiated entirely between himself, his lawyers and the purchaser. There was no involvement of Merctrust in that transaction.

Judge Mtambanengwe ruled that Merctrust directly introduced John Mapondera to the seller and to the property so that even if Hosea Mapondera was said to have no interest in Independent Property Development which purchased the property after the cancellation of the Negomo Associates contract, the introduction of John Mapondera to the property and to Chioza was direct.

The sale that eventuated was a direct result of that introduction. Accordingly he ruled that Chioza pay Merctrust $50 150 as commission for the sale.

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