Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
VETERAN banker Nicholas Vingirai’s bid to evict farmers settled at a farm in Banket has hit a snag after the High Court ordered him to vacate the farm and stop interfering with the farmers’ activities.
The farmers — Bryne Chipembe, Morgan Ncube, John Murambiwa and Madeline Dube — all have genuine offer letters giving them right of occupation to plots allocated to them at Doondo Farm.
Last week, the quartet through their lawyer, Mr Fortune Murisi, obtained a spoliation order at the High Court against Mr Vingirai who along with others acting through him had invaded and taken over the farm.
Justice Phildah Muzofa granted the application by the farmers brought under a certificate of urgency.
“Pending the determination of the matter . . . respondent (Vingirai) and all those acting and doing anything through the respondent be and is hereby ordered to restore undisturbed possession and control of subdivision 1, 5, 6 and 7 of Doondo Farm, Banket to the applicants by removing his security guards and their personal belongings and effects from the farm within two hours of being served with a copy of this order,” she said.
Vingirai was also barred from visiting the farm or interfere with the farming operations of the applicants.
In their application, the farmers accused Vingirai of attempting to wrestle control of the farm without authority.
They also sought to impugn the conduct of Happison Muchechetere, Joseph Khumalo, William Matenga, Runesu Geza and Guvheya for invading the farm claiming authority through Vingirai.
The five allegedly visited the farm on September 23 and illegally took over the farm without due process of the law.
According to the farmers the five acting on Vingirai’s instructions planted six armed security guards at the farm, declaring that the veteran banker had taken over the farm.
They also drilled fear into the farmers telling them they had already taken over Sholiver Farm in the same area under a Presidential order, which they failed to produce.
The invasion of the farm came at a time when the farmers were in the process of land preparation for the farming season .