Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Farmer sues Kanengoni-Malinga over seizure of land

Farmer sues Kanengoni-Malinga over seizure of land

MARONDERA commercial farmer David Peter Worsely Worswick has taken Minister of State in Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s office, Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga, and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to court over the seizure of the remainder of his farm by the minister.

by CHARLES LAITON

In his urgent court application, Worswick also cited lands officers Tinashe Gumbochuma and Tendai Chinyani, and the officer commanding Marondera police as respondents in the matter.

He challenged government’s decision to allocate the remainder of his Argosy Farm’s Domervale Estate to Kanengoni-Malinga, describing the move as illegal.

“It is hereby declared that the offer letter issued to the first defendant (Kanengoni-Malinga) by the second and third respondents (Gumbochuma and Chinyani) be and is hereby declared unlawful and wrongful and accordingly set aside”; and also to be declared that “the second and third defendants’ refusal to issue the plaintiff with an offer letter is unlawful and wrongful”.

According to Worswick, just recently Kanengoni-Malinga approached him and told him that the government had acquired the remaining part of his allocated land and given it to her and further threatened to evict him from the farm if he failed to move off on his own accord.

Through his lawyers from Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, Worswick argued: “The plaintiff is a Zimbabwean by birth and the 400ha is his only home and that is where his investments are after the plaintiff was assured and permitted to stay and invest thereat by the government.”

He added that he was at a loss as to why the government had decided to grab his remaining piece of land, at Argosy Farm Dormervale Estate, after the greater portion of it was compulsorily acquired during the land redistribution programme.

“Before the land redistribution programme was commenced by the government, plaintiff (Worswick) was staying on about 1 559,1687 hectares with his extended family over land which was privately owned by his parents then,” the farmer said.

“In the year 2000, the same land was subdivided into three portions through the government process and the plaintiff was allocated 3 040,1687ha with the remainder apportioned to his brothers.

In 2002, Worswick said the then governor for Mashonaland East, David Karimanzira, called him to a meeting with the chief land planner where the parties agreed that he would surrender half of his land to the government.

Later on, the late Karimanzira’s successor, Aeneas Chigwedere, then renegotiated for the further downsizing of his land which at that time was at about 1 000ha, leaving Worswick with 400ha as government pledged to give him an offer letter, but it reneged on its promise.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

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