Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Minister sued over farm takeover

Minister sued over farm takeover - The Standard

 

 

 

BY CHARLES LAITON

Douglas Mombeshora

Douglas Mombeshora

In his application filed last week, Phillip Vernon Worswick said he had no idea why the government had decided to seize his remaining 400 ha after initially grabbing the biggest portion during the land reform programme.

“I was allocated 400 hectares of land at Dormervale Farm, Dormervale Estate in Marondera where I am currently staying and doing my farming business.

“It is the place I have always called home and I have no other alternative,” Worswick said in his founding affidavit.

“I was disturbed when respondent (chief lands officer) served me with a notice to vacate that piece of land on June 15, 2017 which notice is due to expire on June 30, 2017.”

He added: “I was allocated this piece of land by the respondents after my farm was compulsorily acquired by the government at the commencement of land redistribution programme.

“Initially, I was given 5159, 1687 hectares jointly with my other two brothers but the respondents downsized the farm to 2 500 before they again downsized it to the current (400) hectares.”

Worswick said although the government had unlawfully decided to take over his remaining investment, he was certain it was meant to be given to Zanu PF political commissar for Mashonaland East Herbert Shumbamhini.

“I am, therefore, not staying on a piece of land which was acquired by the government but on a piece of land which was given to me by the respondents when I benefited like any other citizen,” he said adding “Sometime in January 2017, a certain gentleman called Herbert Shumbamhini came to my farm and told me that he was allocated the same piece of land which the respondents had given me.

“I have gathered information that the same Shumbamhini, who now wants to take my life investment which I put after assurances and directions of the respondents, is a holder of about three other farms bigger than mine.”

Worswick said he had no doubt that the government’s conduct to issue him with a notice to vacate his piece of land was not only unlawful but wrongful.

“I have no doubt that permission to stay on a piece of land is now regulated by the provisions of section 291 of the Constitution and clearly I am lawfully occupying my piece of land as a citizen of the republic,” Worswick who is represented by Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers said.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

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