An alleged shady transaction between Cembee Private Limited and Africa Flea Market resulted in the eviction of Choppies Supermarket in Gweru on Friday.
The dramatic eviction of Choppies-one of the leading grocery stores in Zimbabwe -hogged the limelight on Friday with pictures of their goods thrown outside their shop in Gweru all over social media.
It was initially said that the store had been kicked out of their shop for failing to pay rentals but it has since emerged that the retail chain was a victim of connivance between its landlord and the new buyers of a building they were operating from
Choppies has a long lease with Cembee Private Limited which will expire in August 2025.
But without informing the tenant, Cembee sold the building in Gweru to Africa Flea Market.
In a bid to evict Choppies from the buildings Cembee Private Limited allegedly connived with new the buyer Africa Flea Market Limited to get a court order culminating in the eviction of Cembee Private Limited.
The shady agreement between the two parties was to fast-track the eviction of Choppies from the building considering that the retail chain had a long binding lease.
A court order by Justice Zhou under case number HC 3639/23 ordered the eviction of Cembee Private Limited and the order was served to Cembee Private Limited without the knowledge of Choppies Supermarket who were the tenants.
The order which compelled Cembee to vacate the building in 48 hours saw the Choppies being evicted from the building.
The eviction saw Choppies being forced to remove its products from the building.
“Choppies was never aware of the court case and was only evicted following an eviction order by Justice Zhou. The court papers were being served to Cembee Private Limited who were the owners of the building.
“Choppies was just a tenant and a victim of an unfaithful landlord,” said a source close to the developments.
There are indications that an urgent application will be filed at the High Court to challenge the eviction by Choppies.
Efforts to get a comment from Choppies were fruitless
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