via Centenary farmer still held – Newsday October 17, 2015
CENTENARY farmer Philip Ranken is still holed up in his farm after a group representing a British citizen invaded his property late last week.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Ranken’s application to the High Court for an interdict to have British medical practitioner, Sylvester Nyatsuro’s “agents” removed flopped after his lawyer reportedly failed to attend the hearing in chambers.
“My lawyer had a family problem and failed to attend, but we will be appealing. I am an African and a Zimbabwean, but some people think they can rough up other citizens using the race card because I am white. It is not right,” he told NewsDay.
Ranken, however, said his tormentors were still manning gates to his house, while his family was still locked inside.
“They allowed me to go onto the fields this morning, but refused to let me in. I had to use another way in because my wife was still inside,” the besieged farmer said.
Ranken, through his son, early this week approached the High Court seeking an interdict to have British medical practitioner Nyatsuro’s “agents” removed from his 100-hectare tobacco farm.
Barry, through his lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga, pleaded for a provisional order to rescue his father who he said is a heart patient.
“The second applicant (Ranken) is running out of food and first respondent and his agents do not seem to care. He is a heart patient and his health is fast deteriorating such that if this court does not act on urgent basis, the situation could get worse,” he said.
Lands and Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora, the officer in charge of ZRP Centenary and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri are cited as second, third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively in the application.
Mashonaland Central police spokesperson, Petros Masikati was not available for comment, while Nyatsuro’s wife Veronica, was also unreachable.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba’s phone also went unanswered.
By yesterday Ranken said he had not heard from the police, who took a statement from him earlier in the week after initially declining to act because “we do not deal with land issues”.
Nyatsuro, 45, is said to hold a British passport, having moved to the United Kingdom from Zimbabwe around 2003.
The general practitioner reportedly runs a slimming clinic, Willows Medical Centre, in Nottingham, England.