BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
FORMER Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo has won back his Allan Grange Farm in Zvimba, which was repossessed by government through a phone call by Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka’s messengers.
High Court judge Justice Lucy Mungwari granted Chombo interim relief ordering government to stop re-pegging his farm.
Government was also ordered to pay the cost of the lawsuit and not to interfere with his farming activities.
Chombo has occupied the dairy farm measuring 3 098,81 hectares for the past 21 years after he was given a 99-year lease in 2006.
He has 150 herd of cattle and 100 goats at the farm and 504 hectares under irrigated soya, maize and potatoes.
“I also employed 80 full-time and 150 part-time workers,” Chombo submitted, adding that together with an investor Peary Investments, they invested more than US$3 million on the farm.
It is alleged that Masuka had re-planned the farm and divided it into 10 sub-divisions and offered them to other beneficiaries, giving them 99-year leases.
Early this year, Chombo was served with a letter of cancellation of his 99-year lease dated September 25, 2021.
On March 23, 2022, he received calls from officials from Masuka’s office informing him that his farm would be subject to re-pegging.
On March 29, 2022 and April 4, some officials from the ministry started the re-pegging process without Chombo’s consent, prompting him to approach the courts.