Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The High Court has thrown out Goromonzi farmer Mr Martin Grobbler’s bid to stop his eviction from Buena Vista Farm and told him to stop abusing the court.
Mr Grobbler has been trying to block the new owner Ms Ivy Rupande from occupying the property.
Ms Rupande had won several court orders against Mr Grobbler right from the magistrates, High and Supreme Courts, but all her efforts were being scuttled by the white farmer on the pretext of using the courts to seek justice in the dispute.
In the latest case, Mr Grobbler had approached the court seeking to stop the eviction on the grounds there was an application seeking to reinstate his appeal, which was struck off the roll at the Supreme Court.
But after hearing submissions from all parties yesterday Justice Joseph Mafusire threw out the urgent application by Mr Grobbler for lack of merit.
He also blamed his lawyers for showing lack of seriousness in prosecuting their appeals and applications, which has seen their cases suffering still birth at the Supreme Court.
The judge said he could not even understand why Mr Grobbler was coming to court requesting to be allowed to return to the farm, when all he has “are some dubious documents suggesting they have the right to the farm”.
Justice Mafusire found that Mr Grobbler and his co-applicant Protea Valley were properly evicted from the land on the basis of a court order plus a writ of ejection, which was lawfully issued by the Sheriff in circumstances in which there was no appeal pending at the Supreme Court.
The judge also accepted Ms Rupande’s contention that the applicants were using the court process to deny her access to the farm, when she had got several judgments in her favour.
The judge also ruled that even if the applicants’ appeal against the decisions given in the lower court, they have no prospects of success on appeal.
Through his lawyer Advocate Wilbert Mandinde instructed by Mugiya, Macharaga and Associates, Mr Grobbler told the court that he had a prima facie right to be at the farm saying the court processes instituted suspended the action taken against him by Ms Rupande.
In this particular case, it was Mr Grobbler’s contention that he had not received any notice to vacate the farm hence the eviction was unlawful.
Ms Rupande, a self-actor, successfully argued that Mr Grobbler’s application was procedurally flawed and substantively without merit and asked the court to dismiss it.
She argued that the action was premised on a lawful process derived from the judgment granted in her favour to evict Mr Grobbler.
“The so-called urgency is self-created and the court must decline to aid an illegality committed by the applicants when they continued to occupy gazetted land without authority,” she argued.
Mr Target Shumba assisted by Mr Nigel Muchinguri of the Attorney General’s office argued the matter for the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement.
In his submissions Mr Shumba supported Ms Rupande, saying that she was the rightful owner of the farm in question by virtue of a valid offer letter.
He said Mr Grobbler did not have an offer letter to be on the farm. He urged the court to dismiss the application saying Mr Grobbler was abusing the court process in deliberate attempt to frustrate Ms Rupande’s move onto the farm.
Ms Rupande was allocated the land in 2003 at the height of the Land Reform Programme, but faced resistance from Mr Grobbler.
The farm had been acquired by the State and gazetted for redistribution under the Land Reform Programme.