Esidakeni Farm row: Nust lecturer ordered to pay US$340k 

Source: Esidakeni Farm row: Nust lecturer ordered to pay US$340k – #Asakhe – CITE

The Bulawayo High Court has ordered National University of Science and Technology (Nust) lecturer Dumisani Madzivanyathi to pay US$340 000 to Kershelmar Farms Private Limited directors for the loss of potential income.

Kershelmar Farms Private Limited owns the 554-hectare Esidakeni Farm in Nyamandlovu.

The directors are human rights lawyer and Open Society Africa programmes director Siphosami Malunga, scientist Zephaniah Dhlamini and businessman Charles Moyo.

The trio had approached the high court after Madzivanyathi occupied a portion of the farm and allegedly tampered with the irrigation system and deprived water to various crops which were under irrigation.

“As a result of being deprived of water for a significant period at the critical reproductive stage, the crops experienced wilting and drying off of foliage, flower abortion and underdeveloped fruits which could not develop to marketable size and grade,” read part of the summons.

This resulted in 150,000 planted tomatoes and 65,000 butternut crops being destroyed.

In their summons they wanted Madzivanyathi to pay them US$340,000 for potential loss of revenue, interest of 5 percent per annum from the date of the summons and that he be ordered to pay costs of the suit.

Bulawayo high court judge justice Martin Makonese ruled in their favour.

“It is ordered that defendant pay to the Plaintiffs the amount of US$339 660.00 (three hundred and thirty-nine six hundred and sixty thousand United States Dollars) or the equivalent amount in Zimbabwean dollars at the applicable interbank rate on the date of payment; Interest on the above amount at the rate of 58 per annum; costs of suit,” read the judgement.

Madzivanyathi had occupied the farm after claiming to have been given an offer letter for a section of the property by the lands ministry, which announced in 2020 that the farm had been gazetted for compulsory acquisition under controversial land reform laws.