BY SILAS NKALA
HUMAN rights defender Siphosami Malunga and his farming partners recently suffered a major blow after a Bulawayo High Court dismissed their urgent court application for the eviction of Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu from Kershelmar Farm, also known as Esidakeni, in Nyamandlovu district.
Malunga, Zephaniah Dhlamini and Charles Moyo, who are shareholders of Kershelmar Farms, wanted a court order barring Mpofu from interfering with their farming operations.
This was after Mpofu, through his company Maswelangubo, was allocated a portion of the farm, 145 hectares, by Lands minister Anxious Masuka.
The trio had cited Mpofu, his company and wife Sikhanyisiwe as respondents, but the latter opposed the application arguing that it was defective.
In her ruling on February 11, Justice Evangelista Kabasa ruled that the application was not urgent.
“It is a discretion the court has to exercise judiciously. I am of the considered view that a case for urgency has not been made in casu (in this case). I, therefore, decline to exercise my discretion in favour of the applicant. The respondents have asked for punitive costs. I see justification for such. There is nothing the applicants have done which deserves censure by an award of punitive costs,” Justice Kabasa ruled.
“While the norm is that costs follow the cause, the circumstances of this matter persuade me not to make an award for costs. In the result, the point in limine that the application is not urgent is upheld. The application is accordingly struck off the roll of urgent matters. There shall be no order as to costs.”
Last year, Justice Kabasa ordered Mpofu to vacate the disputed farm or be removed by the police.
Mpofu and his wife appealed the ruling.
Malunga, Moyo and Dhlamini argued in court papers that they bought the farm from white former owners in 2017.