Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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White farmer sues Mombeshora over offer letter

White farmer sues Mombeshora over offer letter

A MARONDERA farmer, Stephen Worswick, who last week sued Foreign Affairs deputy minister, Edgar Mbwembwe for allegedly threatening to kill him over his piece of land, has once again approached the court seeking to compel the government to issue him with an offer letter.

BY CHARLES LAITON

In his urgent application, Worswick said he was last Friday given a 24-hour ultimatum to pack his belongings and vacate Chipunga Farm, by Mbwembwe and Lands minister Douglas Mombershora.

But in his latest application, Worswick said he was now seeking an order to compel the Mashonaland East chief lands officer and Mombeshora to issue him with an offer letter within three months of an order being issued by the court.

In his court application, through his lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, Worswick gave a chronological sequence of events leading to the government sparing him his current 400 hectares of land.

“I am a farmer at Chipunga Farm on a piece of land measuring 400ha comprising 150ha of arable land, where I have invested over $6 million after I was allocated that land by the government,” the farmer said.

“I have always been very supportive of the land reform programme in Zimbabwe and I am one of the first farmers to be affected by the land reform when the process commenced.”

Worswick said when the land reform programme commenced in 1997, he, together with his two brothers, offered two farms to the government and in 2000, Dormervale Farm was subdivided into three farms, being Chipunga, Argosy and Dormervale farms, and he was allocated Chipunga Farm measuring 400ha.

“On June 15, 2017, I was served with a notice to vacate the allocated 400ha by the respondents (Mbwembwe, chief lands officer and Mombeshora), which came to me as a surprise, because it is the respondents, who had allocated me the said land,” he said.

“I am no longer residing on the previously acquired land, but on the land allocated to me by the very respondents, who are now chasing me on less than two weeks’ notice.

“I attach, hereto, the copy of the notice.

“It became apparent to me that the second and third respondents (chief lands officer and Mombeshora) were not keen to give an offer letter notwithstanding that I deserve to be given same like any other Zimbabwean.”

Worswick said he was advised that Mbwembwe had also been given the same piece of land by the government, a move he described as being unlawful and wrongful.

“The second and third respondents are entitled to issue me with an offer letter if the law is to be applied fairly and properly,” he said.

“The respondents have not given me reasons for depriving me of the very land, which they had allocated to me contrary to the law.”

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

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