Judegment Day At The High Court London

Judegment Day At The High Court London
Mengi v Hermitage: Libel Claim Successfully Defended

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Co-Op Accepting Assignment

In 1999, the Kyeri, Shari and Uswaa Mamba co-operative societies held the right of occupancy to Silverdale and Mbono Farms. In 1999 they issued a derivative right in the form of a 60-year lease to Fiona Tanzania Ltd a company owned by Benjamin and Millie Mengi. In 2004, Fiona (Mengi) sold the lease to Silverdale Tanzania Ltd, a company owned by British investor Stewart Middleton with Mengi as a minor shareholder who was later removed as a director in full compliance with the law.

The lease allowed for the assignment without the permission of the co-operative societies. Despite this, approval for the assignment was obtained.

One year later, Mengi began negotiating with another British investor Konrad Legg to sell the lease to him a second time and demanded the lease back on the basis that he had not been paid in full despite having signed a receipt for full payment. He applied to the District Land and Housing Tribunal to have the investors evicted. He admitted to the assignment and asked the Tribunal to evict the investors. This application went all the way to the High Court (Lands Division) where Hon Kileo dismissed it in 2006. Mengi took out another case this time in the High Court. In this case, again, he admits the assignment and asks again for it to be set aside and for the investor to be evicted. This case is still in the court and has not been heard . Advocate Sam Mapande is representing the investors in this case from Dar es Salaam and has not accounted to the investors for two years.

In 2008, the British investors fled the country due to abuse of law, harassment and intimidation from the police and judiciary. Mengi invaded the farms in January 2008, broke into the investor’s house and stole and violated their property cut down all the trees on the farms and destroyed property.

Keeping up so far? Mengi assigns lease, asks for it to be revoked and then claims for it not to be revoked, as he wants to remain unlawfully on the farms.

In an utterly bizarre twist  Moshi Advocate Apollo Mruma, acting on behalf of the co-operative societies, completely ignoring the assignment from Fiona Tanzania to Silverdale Tanzania recognised Fiona Tanzania Ltd (and Benjamin and Mille Mengi) as the owner to the lease and served an eviction notice on them for breach of contract. This despite the fact that there was a caveat on the lease in the Lands Office in Moshi affected by Lands Officer Nkya.

Mengi's response, was to file another case in the High Court Lands Division case 2/2010 this time declaring himself unilaterally to be the owner of the lease (this despite the other cases in the same case in which he states he is not) asking for the eviction order to be stayed and for the High Court to declare him to be the owner of the lease and asking the co-ops to pay him $5,000,000 in damages but not stating what damages.

The  Moshi High Court, Lands Division just ignored the assignment and the existence of the British investors all together and upheld the eviction order and on 14th June 2010 with the assistance of the Moshi Police, Mengi was evicted from Silverdale and Mbono Farms.

The investors wrote to Maruma and pointed out what he clearly already knew, that his actions were an abuse of law and corrupt. They also informed the British ambassador in Tanzania and the American Ambassador. Maruma is listed on the American Embassy’s ‘helpful information’ page as a Moshi Advocate. In a personal reply to British M.P. Roger Gale, Maruma tells him that the investors are ‘fraudsters’ (but provides no evidence for this) and his response to the British and American ambassadors to Tanzania was as follows: -

---- Original Message -----
From: maruma advocate
Sent: Friday, July 09, 2010 6:25 AM


Your Excellency,

For the record, we take the liberty to respond to our copy of the email from the so called Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales. With due respect, she displayed an extreme sense of arrogance in publishing such a defamatory story against our integrity about which she is least qualified to judge. She demonstrated the height of desperation and recklessness.

In a nutshell, she, through Silvedale (T) Ltd, conspired to take over tracks of land on lease to Fiona (T) Ltd without due consent by owners, poor rural villagers organised as Cooperative Societies, our clients. The societies recovered their land for defaults in rentals payments and poor investment etc which Fiona is challenging in court. The fraud between Fiona and Silverdale went sour hence her desperation. Allegations of corruption are frivolous,insulting and offensive to say the least.

The Solicitor - turned - agricultural investor is welcome to pursue her rights, if any, in court and avoid malicious smear campaigns, against resident professionals. She should learn to look back over her shoulders when she set foot in Tanzania again.

If Sarah has lost faith in our system of government, she should try Zimbabwe.


No legal argument is used by Maruma to support his conduct. That is not surprising, there is none. More importantly, the reader’s attention is drawn to the clear threats Maruma issues to British investor Sarah Hermitage. This from an advocate of the High Court of Tanzanian says more about Maruma’s conduct than the investors ever could!!!

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