FORMER Bulawayo City Councillor Collet Ndhlovu is locked in an ugly fight with his former business partner over the control of a beer garden which they co-owned in Esigodini.
Ndhlovu, who is former councillor for Ward 29 in Cowdray Park is being accused by his former business partner Thandazani Gumpo of fraudulently acquiring a lease of agreement with Umzingwane Rural District Council to operate Enyandeni Beer Garden. Stinking details of their fall-out are contained in court papers obtained at the Bulawayo Civil Court in which Gumpo was seeking a peace order against Ndhlovu claiming he was threatening and harassing him.
“I do hereby state that Collet Ndhlovu is a former business partner with whom we were in a partnership on a certain business premise and interests. After a misunderstanding over the ownership of the premise we ended up approaching the courts for recourse. Having won the legal battle, Ndhlovu is ignoring the court ruling as he continues harassing and threatening me over the business premise.
“This is an application for a peace order to request him to stop coming to my business premises, to harass me and disturb my peace since I no longer have a business relationship with him,” said Gumpo.
He said the business premise in question was in the name of his late grandmother Lizzie Sikhosana.
“He is threatening me saying I am too young and can’t cheat him in that manner. The premise which is in the name of my late grandmother had not been in occupation for 10 years when we decided to revive it. As a family we agreed that I should be responsible and I started by paying all the arrears to the council (Umzingwane Rural District) and the elders also agreed that I take over the bar since I am the eldest grandson,” said Gumpo.
He adds: “The lease agreement which he claims is in possession of was fraudulent because I went to Umzingwane Rural District Council and they said they could not have issued another lease agreement since the premise is in the name of my late grandmother.”
In his opposing affidavit Ndhlovu denied Gumpo’s accusations that he was threatening and harassing him.
“It is not correct that I had threatened or harassed the applicant. It is interesting that the applicant claims I have threatened him without specifying how I have done so.
“Surely if the applicant was being threatened or harassed he should have stated in what manner I have done so. Applicant is raising bare and unsubstantiated allegations.
“It is indeed correct that I once had a dispute with the applicant which was brought to court when I was seeking to evict him from a certain business premise. However, I have never threatened or harassed him,” he stated.
He argued that Gumpo’s application was a disguised attempt to stop him from visiting and occupying the premise in question.
“I suspect the applicant’s application is a disguised attempt to interfere with my lease of a beer garden that I have with Umzingwane Rural District Council. I have a valid lease agreement with Umzingwane Rural District Council to operate a beer garden.
“I thus deny ever threatening or harassing the applicant in any manner. I accordingly pray that this application for a peace order is dismissed,” he said.
In her ruling the presiding magistrate Nomasiko Ndlovu dismissed Gumpo’s application buttressing Ndhlovu’s arguments that it merely proffered unsubstantiated allegations which were not backed by any evidence or at least comprehensive facts.