Source: War vets drag Mpofu, Mombeshora in land fight – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 6, 2017
EIGHT war veterans from Matabeleland North province have filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court challenging their eviction from Hilda’s Kraal Farm to pave way for Herbert Ncube in a land dispute that has dragged in Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora and former provincial governor, Obert Mpofu.
BY SILAS NKALA
The dispute dates back to 2001 when the war veterans invaded the farm soon after it was gazetted by the government for resettlement purposes.
However, the farm was allocated to Ncube to the disappointment of the eight, who refused to vacate.
Mpofu, then as Matabeleland North governor, allowed the war veterans to stay put on the understanding that Ncube would be allocated a game ranch in the Gwayi Conservancy area.
Ncube and his wife, Sphiwe, who claim to have bought the farm in 1986 from Peit Retief Venter and Maurice Rudnick for Z$86 000, in 2014 obtained a High Court order that allowed them to return to the farm.
In their court challenge, the war veterans, led by Collen Dhlamini, claimed Ncube had no legal right to return to the farm.
They cited Ncube, Hilda’s Kraal Farm (Pvt) Ltd, Mombeshora and Registrar of Deeds as respondents respectively.
In his founding affidavit, Dhlamini submitted that sometime in 2013 Ncube and Hilda’s Kraal Farm (Pvt) Ltd filed an application against Mombeshora and the Registrar of Deeds for the removal of a Caveat on Hilda’s Kraal Farm, which was placed by government during the land reform programme.
“The first respondent (Ncube), despite knowing the existence of first to eighth applicants and their interest thereof as the resettled plot holders of Hilda’s Kraal Farm, still did not cite the eight Hilda’s Kraal plot holders in the said application,” Dhlamini submitted.
“First (Ncube) and second respondents (Hilda’s Kraal Farm) obtained the judgment on February 7, 2014 and this is an application for the rescission of the said judgment.”
He submitted that in 2016 they challenged Ncube and Hilda’s Kraal Farm’s attempts to subdivide the farm and sell the plots and the courts ruled in the war veterans’ favour.
Ncube had claimed that Mpofu allocated him Kha-Tsenze Lot A Farm in Gwayi, which was later turned into a coal mine run by China Africa Zimbabwe Sunlight Energy Mine, hence, his decision to reclaim ownership of Hilda’s Kraal Farm.