Twenty years ago- Family fights over house

A dispute over the ownership of a house nearly split a Mzilikazi family when two sisters ganged up against another sister and their mother who was the rightful owner of the house.


The dispute was finally resolved by High Court Judge, Justice Muchechetere, who ruled that the house should be re-registered in the name of the mother.

The house was bought by Winnie Ratidzo Mutenengari in 1982. She bought it for her mother Jasca Mhlanga but at the time the mother could not legally own a house in Bulawayo because of some technical problems.

Mutenengari decided to register the house in the name of her sister Sophie Mhlanga with the hope of transferring it into her mother’s name once her papers were in order.

Sophie moved into the house with her other sister Eunice and they began to run a thriving shebeen.

Eunice, who Judge Muchechetere, said was the evil genius in the whole matter ganged up with Sophie and they banned their Mutenengari and their mother from coming to the house.

Mutenengari made several attempts to make her sisters see reason but they stuck to their guns. She asked their brother, another sister and their mother to persuade Sophie but failed. When she went to see Sophie personally to discuss the matter, Sophie slapped her on the cheek and chased her away from the house.

It was after this that she decided to take the matter to court.

Judge Muchechetere ordered Sophie to re-register the house in her mother’s name. He said that in the event that she failed to voluntarily do so within a month the deputy sheriff would be authorised to sign all the relevant documents to effect the re-registration.


-From The Insider February 1991

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