Chief kicked off farm by Minister's sidekick

THE High Court has ordered the eviction of Chief Mashayamombe from Marsden Farm in Mhondoro to pave way for businessman Mr Christopher Goromonzi.

 

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Mr Goromonzi said he bought the farm from the white former farmer.

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Mr Michael Hughes Mino and Mrs Shelly Diane Mino owned the farm through a company called Marsden Farm Private Limited.

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They, however, sold the firm to Mr Goromonzi and the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office Sylvester Nguni after it had been gazetted for compulsory acquisition.

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Mr Goromonzi later bought out Minister Nguni and became the sole owner of the company.

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After the land had been gazetted, Chief Mashayamombe and his son Tendai Chiketa occupied the farm without offer letters.

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Another farmer, Mr Kudzai Gwenhere, occupied part of the farm and was spared from the eviction because he had an offer letter.

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Justice Nicholas Mathonsi ruled that the chief and his son acted unlawfully by resorting to self-help in occupying the farm.

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This was after convincing submissions by Mr Goromonzi’s lawyer Advocate Isaiah Mureriwa of Scanlen and Holderness.

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“It cannot be disputed that the respondents acted outside the law by resorting to self-help measures without due process and taking occupation of the farm the way they did.

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“The first and second respondents (chief and his son) do not have offer letters and until such time that they are given such offer letters, they have no right whatsoever to be on the farm.

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“The first and second respondents and all those claiming through them should forthwith vacate and give possession of Marsden Farm situated in the District of Chegutu to the applicant.

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“The first and second respondents should refrain from taking any equipment or implements from the said Marsden Farm. 

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“Application against the third respondents (Mr Gwenhere) is dismissed. Each party shall bear its own costs,” ruled Justice Mathonsi.

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The judge agreed with arguments raised by Adv Mureriwa, but had to clear Mr Gwenhere of any wrongdoing.

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The court also condemned the violent manner in which the chief and his son occupied the farm.

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After the farm was gazetted, it was once allocated to various individuals through offer letters, but Mr Goromonzi successfully resisted the move until he approached the offices of the land acquiring authority.

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He sought de-listing of the farm on the basis that it had been acquired on the erroneous understanding that the white former farmer had occupied it.
The chief lands officer for Mashonaland West investigated the matter and submitted a report to the director of resettlement recommending that Mr Goromonzi should be issued with an offer letter for the farm.

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