Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Farmer seeks court protection from minister

A MARONDERA farmer, Stephen Worswick, has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking a protection order and to stop Foreign Affairs deputy minister Edgar Mbwembwe from grabbing his farm at gunpoint.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Worswick claimed that, last Friday, Mbwembwe gave him a 24-hour ultimatum to leave his Chipunga Farm.

In the application, Worswick cited Mbwembwe, the chief lands officer, Lands minister Douglas Mombershora, officer commanding Marondera police and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, as respondents.

Through his lawyer, Joyce Sithole, Worswick said on July 7 this year, Mbwembwe allegedly “hired thugs” and stormed his farm around midday and attempted to evict him without a court order. He added that Mbwembwe openly bragged that he did not take orders from the courts.

Part of the application reads: “The first to third respondents and some hired thugs stormed the applicant’s (Worswick) Chipunga Farm, Marondera, on July 7, 2017 at around midday and attempted to evict the applicant from his farm without a court order or any such other lawful authority.

“The first to third respondents threatened to shoot the applicant if he refused to vacate and gave him an ultimatum to leave the farm within 24 hours or he would lose his life … The respondents brought a truck full of youths, who were drunk and hired to cause commotion and chaos at the farm, in what the first and third respondents called ‘jambanja’.”

Worswick said he was now living in fear following the death threats.

“The land, which I currently occupy, is not the land which was compulsorily acquired by the government. It is part of land, which was given to me, initially as 5 159,1687 hectares consolidated with my two brothers, but was downsized to 420ha by the second and third respondents (chief lands officer and Mombeshora),” Worswick said.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

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