Magistrate, cop ‘connive’ to prejudice farmer 

Source: Magistrate, cop ‘connive’ to prejudice farmer -Newsday Zimbabwe

A RECENTLY promoted Officer Commanding police in Norton, Chief Superintendent Howard Makiwa, has been accused of conniving with local magistrate Christina Nyandoro to remand in custody a farm worker who was arrested in a farm dispute involving his employer and a United Kingdom (UK)-based man.

According to a letter of complaint sent to ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Makiwa allegedly sent policemen to the farm which is under dispute to arrest Gift Mzilikazi over a contempt of court charge granted by Nyandoro.

 

It is alleged that Mzilikazi had challenged the charge after it was discovered that Nyandoro had issued an order granting Francis Mutero, who is based in the UK, the right to the farm using unverified offer letters.

Mzilikazi further alleged that on arrival at Stanhope Farm in Chegutu, police officers arrested Annivha Mavheneke, a farm worker, leaving 70 heads of cattle unattended.

Mavheneke, who is being represented by Dzikamai Madzivire, was remanded in custody by Nyandoro for close to a week denying him audience for bail.

Mzilikazi’s lawyer Patrick Nyeperai has since petitioned Matanga to rein in his subordinate, arguing that Makiwa’s action was not motivated by good administration of justice.

 

“Sometime in April this year, Mutero instituted legal proceedings to evict our client from the farm and he obtained a judgment in his favour from the magistrates court.

“Our client noted an appeal against that judgment. Mutero lodged a complaint with the police soon after the handing down of the judgment and the noting of the appeal raising allegations of contempt of court against our client.

“The matter went to court for initial remand, but prosecution was suspended pending the determination of the appeal and further investigations and the outcome of the land audit that is currently underway.”

 

 

Mzilikazi contends that Mutero instituted proceedings in the High Court for his eviction while the matter had been appealed against at the same courts.

He was, according to the petition to Matanga, summoned to Norton Police Station on May 8 to discuss and agree on a way forward pending a decision from the Lands minister and the High Court.

On May 10, the parties reportedly agreed to suspend the contempt allegations until the appeal was heard, but Makiwa insisted on arresting Mzilikazi.

On May 26, Makiwa ordered Norton police officers to go to the farm “to arrest all of our client’s workers notwithstanding that they are herdboys”.

“This effectively means that he wanted the 70 heads of cattle to be left unattended. The arrested worker was detained at Norton Police Station and was only taken to court on Wednesday.

“This was at the specific instance of Superintendent Makiwa. The worker was not a party to the court proceedings and Superintendent Makiwa knows this very well,” Mzilikazi’s lawyers said.

It is further alleged Makiwa ordered the transfer of policemen for letting some of the farm workers remain with the cattle.

“Chief Superintendent Makiwa is well aware that the effect of an appeal is to suspend a judgment appealed against. He cannot, therefore, genuinely insist that our client is in contempt of court before the determination of the appeal.

“In any event, our client has always denied the allegations of contempt. To this extent, Chief Superintendent Makiwa’s conduct is unnecessarily oppressive,” the lawyers said.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0