Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Moffat grandson refuses to vacate farm

Moffat grandson refuses to vacate farm
 Bruce Moffat

Bruce Moffat

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A BULAWAYO woman has taken Shangani commercial farmer, Bruce Moffat to court seeking an order directing his eviction from the disputed Oaklands Farm.

Sibongile Shava, in court papers, says she was allocated the farm in 2014 by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.

Shava, a widow of the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo’s driver, Colleen Shava, on Tuesday filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Moffat and Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora as the defendants.

Moffat, grandson to Howard Unwin Moffat, Southern Rhodesia’s second premier from 1927 to 1933, has since last year been locked in a legal wrangle with Shava over the ownership of the farm.

Shava, who is a self-actor, said she was given an offer letter to occupy the farm in June 2014.

“On June 6, 2014, I was allocated sub-division 2 of Oaklands Farm in Insiza district measuring 216 hectares. I duly accepted the offer letter from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and sought to take occupation of the land. However, Moffat has despite demand failed, refused or neglected to hand over the property without lawful cause,” she said.

Shava wants an order declaring her the rightful owner of the farm. In the event that the order is granted in her favour, Shava wants Moffat to be evicted within 10 days of the ruling.

Moffat has not yet filed opposing papers and has up to June 24 to do so.

Last year, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese granted Moffat a provisional order to remain at the Shangani farm pending the finalisation of his court application for review.

The judge set aside the ruling by the Small Claims Court following an urgent chamber application filed by Moffat at the High Court challenging his eviction from the farm.

Moffat lost the case in March last year at the Small Claims Court and was subsequently ordered to vacate Oaklands Farm by former Bulawayo magistrate Singandu Jele.

The farmer through his lawyers, Webb, Low and Barry, then took his case to the High Court seeking a provisional order to block the Messenger of Court from executing the Small Claims order pending a review of the case.

Moffat argued that despite the acquisition of his 2,100 hectare farm by government in 2003, he has been given permission to retain 788 hectares of Subdivision 2 of Oaklands Farm. The farm was subdivided into three sections.

He argued that the Small Claims Court had no jurisdiction to handle the dispute because of the value of the land.

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