Chief Zimunya, born Kibben Bvirindi, was yesterday ordered to vacate Odzi Farm, which he invaded last month after illegally evicting the owner, Phillip Valentine.
Source: Chief Zimunya ordered to vacate farm – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 10, 2016
BY CHARLES LAITON
Valentine had filed an urgent chamber application, which was determined by High Court judge, Justice David Mangota in which he cited Bvirindi, the district lands officer, only identified as Matendera, and another person only identified as Moyo, the Manicaland provincial lands officer and Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora as respondents.
“An interim order is granted on the following terms: That first and third respondents (Bvirindi and Moyo) and all those claiming occupation through them restore the applicant’s (Valentine) possession of Odzi Farm, Manicaland Province, Mutare, forthwith,” Justice Mangota said.
“The first and third respondents and their agents are interdicted from harassing the applicant and his family or his workers in whatever manner.”
In his application, Valentine said he was in peaceful occupation of the farm when Bvirindi and Moyo took it over on October 24.
“The applicant (Valentine) is out of his property after he was forced out and all his property was taken by the first and second respondents (Bvirindi and the district lands officer),” the farmer said through his lawyer Norman Mugiya.
“The first respondent claims that he has an offer letter, but same could not be true, since the applicant is in lawful possession of the farm and at any event if such an offer letter does exist, then it is unlawful, as it could have been issued in error.”
Valentine’s lawyer urged the court not to allow the chief and his subjects to take the law into their own hands by illegally occupying other people’s property.
The lawyer further argued Valentine and his family could not be evicted without a court order.
“The applicant will definitely lose all his property, including the wheat, which is due for harvesting, if the first and third respondents are not tamed. The police have refused to assist the applicant claiming that it is a civil suit,” Mugiya submitted.
In his affidavit, Valentine claimed, at one point, the respondents caused his arrest in terms of section 3 of the Gazetted Lands (Consequential) Act, and he was convicted at the Mutare Magistrates’ Court, but had since appealed against both conviction and sentence.
Bvirindi invaded the property despite the fact that it falls under Chief Makoni’s jurisdiction.