White farmer ordered to vacate farm in Zimbabwe

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | White farmer ordered to vacate farm in Zimbabwe 30 September 2013

A farmer who has four times resisted eviction from a Beatrice farm has again been ordered off the farm by the High Court to pave way for a beneficiary who has been battling to assert his rights on the property for the past eight years.

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu ordered Mr Joseph Goncalves to leave subdivision 1 of Charmaine of Dryton in Seke district and pave way for Mr Chamunorwa Charles Mutyambizi.

In his judgment made available last week, Justice Bhunu noted the spirited resistance by Mr Goncalves, who has sought relief in four different courts without success in his bid to remain in occupation of the property.

Justice Bhunu, however, absolved the police who did not enforce court orders, saying a letter from the then Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Dr Herbert Murerwa, purporting to withdraw an offer letter to Mr Mutyambizi created confusion that resulted in police failing to move in.

Mr Goncalves has in the past approached the High Court, Administrative Court and the Supreme Court but failed in all the platforms.

In the present urgent chamber application heard before Justice Bhunu, Mr Goncalves enlisted the support of local community leaders who include a councillor and war veteran who swore affidavits to advance his cause saying it was for the greater good of   the community for him to remain on the farm.

But in his judgment, Justice Bhunu noted that what should be looked at was what the law provided.

“While the interests of the community are important considerations, the overriding consideration are the provisions of the law,” said Justice Bhunu.

“Thus whenever community interests come into conflict with the law, they will have to give way to the dictates of the law. That is what the rule of law is all about.”

He said while Mr Mutyambizi complained the police were not helpful to his cause in protecting him, he felt that the law enforcement agencies were genuinely confused by the Minister’s conduct in issuing two conflicting offer letters to two different people pertaining to the same piece of land.

“It was not for the police to decide the validity or otherwise of any of the contrasting letters.

“Now that the court has clarified the position the police are duty bound to perform their constitutional mandate without let or hindrance,” he said.

During the ensuing wrangle, Mr Mutyambizi had successfully challenged the withdrawal of his offer letter by the the then minister in the Administrative Court and reissued Mr Goncalves with another offer letter as he sought to provide an alternative piece of land to the indigenous farmer.

The court also noted some discrepancies in Mr Goncalves’ assertion where on one hand he sought to claim that he never lost occupation of the property yet in another court application before a different judge he had sought safe passage to collect his remaining belongings.

This was after the Deputy Sheriff had enforced one of the court orders and removed Mr Goncalves from the farm.

Justice Bhunu castigated Mr Goncalves who together with hordes of some people took occupation of the disputed property.

“That being the case, Mr Goncalves’ reoccupation of the farm without Mr Mutyambizi’s consent can only amount to spoliation. It is needless to say that our law frowns upon illegal self-help to dispossess another,” he said.

He said the conduct by Mr Goncalves and his team in the community to openly and deliberately defy the law and lawful court orders was reprehensible and could only bring the due administration of justice into disrepute.

Justice Bhunu said it was for that reason that he was awarding costs at a higher scale. Mr Mutyambizi’s lawyer, Mr Itayi Ndudzo of Mutamangira and Associates, welcomed the court judgment.

“His conduct is brazenly contemptuous and intransigent.  The appropriate legal steps are already in motion to ensure that justice is done in this case,” he said.



  • comment-avatar
    MikeH 11 years ago

    Rule of law, justice ….. in mugabeland !!! Someone’s having a laugh.

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    Jeremy OConnor 11 years ago

    They talk about justice. What rubbish! The judge is just enforcing an unjust law. It does not mean that it what has happened is just even if it is “lawful”.

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    Let’s take over the embassy in washington

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    supermondo 11 years ago

    ,more lack of good farmers,more dilapidation ,,you cannot educate thick people

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    Lindy Forster 11 years ago

    “Justice Bhunu” Has this joke of the so called judiciary ever studied law?He should be ashamed to call himself a judge like most of his ilk in a country that once had one of the best legal systems but is now rotten to the core.Enjoy your ill begotten gains the whole damned lot of you because the time is coming when you will all be held accountable and your souls will forever be tormented.

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    Armando 11 years ago

    I just wonder If the people who commented on this article are white. A white man lost his farm because it belongs to someone of decent to that land. You guys are foolish to assume you know what’s best for other countries. Educate thick people? The majority of white people need to realize that the past never left. You guys created racism and socioeconomic diaspora. All your leaders have corrupted and continue to corrupt this world through sociopathic lunacy. The creators of violence and confusion historically. It’s crazy to read your screwed logic. Who are you to judge any one on this planet.

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    Hango Yapalala 11 years ago


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    Macon Pane 11 years ago

    Lindy, you’re dead on… no pun intended. But, with death coming, lives driven by lust for loot, power, and pride will face a judgment by a Judge who can’t be bribed. There’ll be no bail, and no trial delays. There can be no witness tampering, because the Judge has seen all Himself… even those crooked deals behind closed doors in high places, and the brutal policeman who had no interest in justice. No pleas of ignorance, because the Judge has known even their thoughts. There are no appeal courts to control, because the sentence is immediate and eternal… and no escape possible. They’ll have all eternity to remember their selfish, godless deeds, and wish they had chosen a life of godliness, righteousness, and caring, instead. But, they’ll have familiar company in their unimaginable misery, because all of ZANUPF will join them one-by-one… from the elite down to the street thug. Each one had full control of how they lived life, the lawless path was their choice, and they refused to repent and change. None will escape facing the judgment for the life they live. They are doomed. Pity their sorry souls.

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    Doris 11 years ago

    I wholeheartedly agree with all the above comments. What a terrible tragedy, not only to the farmers who worked they guts out for many many years to establish viable farms, but also the fact that an entire generation of Zimbabweans have been taught that they are entitled to anything they want without paying for it. A mindset of “You got it, I want it, I take it.” Shame on you.

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      jongwe power 11 years ago

      When the white settlers came to Zimbabwe, did they buy the land from the folks who used to live there? Can’t ignore karma.

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        nakubetayo 10 years ago

        Indeed, i wonder to my self about who owned the land originally, but besides that, this is a case of, what goes around, surely does come around, you reap what you sow.
        When the original inhabitants were mistreated by the white man, who was there to fight for their rights, no one.
        I guess time doesn’t really heal all wounds!
        The original white man came and did terrible things to the African man, but no white man wants to hear this…

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    How touching. I feel sorry for the White farmer.
    At least he gets a descent eviction.
    I wonder how it was when the blacks where driven off their land earlier on.

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      Are you wondering about the San Bushmen who were chased off their land, the Shona tribes who were decimated by the Matebele?

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      jongwe power 11 years ago

      The problem is that nobody gives a rat’s behind about black people. That is why when a white person gets hurt, it’s front page news all over the world.

      Ever notice that the poor, dispossessed white farmers typically wear sunglasses during interviews? Come on, white Zimbos. Let’s see those crocodile tears you’re hiding. You thought the black man was too dumb to learn history, and too cowardly to kick your butts one day, and you got owned.

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        Zimbo 11 years ago

        Not to sure if you realise, but when a white farmer is evicted off his land, hundreds of black labourers are also evicted. And if not evicted, then work for no pay, as that is exactly what will happen.

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        cheryl melville 11 years ago

        You all deal in double standards.Lets get a campaign going, that no whites are to visit zimbabwe for one year. See what will happen.

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    OSCAR 11 years ago

    Macon, I regret I will not pity their sorry souls, I hope they rot in hell for eternity. Through their greed and butality the have ruined a great country, they have murdered,stolen and beaten their way to vast riches at the expense of the people. As a member of the diaspora told me “RGM will not die soon, the Devil is scared of a take over!” No! I will not pity them I just hope that when they die it will be slow and very painful.

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    The gospel 11 years ago

    In as much as we may deplore injustice, do we ourselves then stand in the stead of the judge and pronounce judgements on his behalf? I don’t think that is the message of Jesus. The message of Jesus is that all have sinned and need forgiveness, whether black, white, Indian, Chinese, Zanu, MDC, Democrat, Republican, Conservative or how ever one my describe themselves. Forgiveness is offered to all, if only they will turn to Jesus and put their trust in him. It is true that WE will all be held accountable, but there is still time to turn away from sin and believe in Jesus, that is the message of the Gospel.

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    Simon 11 years ago

    All this hype about indigenous…the san bushman are actual original occupiers. And many whites are 3rd or 4th generation zimbabwean which is more than mugabe himself. Whites are not perfect and neither are the blacks. Theft is theft. When one has paid for land taxes etc and its taken away regardless race creed and no compensation..then you deserve to rot in hell for the livelihoods from owner to labourer and bringing a nation down. God will judge and purportrators will suffer eternity. Our lives here on earth are just temporary evil people seems to forget.

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    munzwa 11 years ago

    so judge! where is your farm, are you even a farmer. Did you pay anyone for it and have you repaid all the input schemes you must have benefited from

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    What law is the judge talking about? What rule of law is he talking about? The trouble is that this is a monster that is going to come back and bite ZanuPF. Now black farmers are starting to lose their farms and who next? Apparently small businesses are starting to be targeted now and these have to give over 100% not the 51% of the indigenization policy.

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    Chivula Mapoti 11 years ago

    Chinese are wonderful farmers, I suggest we give them the farms the blacks and whites lose through indigenisation and bad husbandry.
    There are so many of them and they all need a little plot and it will increase Zim’s Forex at the same time.
    Mugabe, part Ghananian, part Malawian should also be evicted, as a foreigner!

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    jongwe power 11 years ago

    At the end of the day, whether fair or not, people must ask themselves why the white farmers never saw something like the land reform coming. Let’s see…

    A) They were sitting on land that their grandparents didn’t exactly acquire from the folks who actually lived there. It’s not easy to just forget that your ancestral home was ploughed under because of some piece of paper signed by Lobengula (who never had jurisdiction over your land) and some fat bloke named Rudd.
    B) They noticed that African countries which gained independence tended to have anti-white policies at some point. What made Zimbabwe so different?
    C) They actually thought that the Zanu-PF folks actually buried the hatchet, just because the black man can finally travel throughout his own country, and buy 30-room mansions in Greystone Park, without carrying around a portfolio of permit folders.
    D) They were dumb enough to exploit the willing-buyer-willing-seller clause in the Lancaster agreement, knowing well enough that this was a volatile issue. They should be thankful they managed to hold on to their square-kilometre farms until the 2000s, because alternatively, the land reform would have occurred immediately after independence, and back then the war veterans still had weapons (and there would actually be a massacre of white farmers).

    If it’s perfectly okay for the Jews to whine about the Holocaust and get the world to kiss their butts, then it’s fair enough for black people to bring to light the fact that a century ago, they were kicked off their ancestral lands because, in 1884, a bunch of businessmen played with crayons on a map of Africa while at a whorehouse in Berlin. The white settlers really should have considered that they were farming on land that is not exactly theirs when they built the intricate infrastructure that used to make up the now-repossessed farms. Actually, they did, because most of them were smart enough to put their investments outside the country, which is why they are able to buy 500-hectare farms in the United States, Zambia and South Africa, to continue their operations.

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      cheryl melville 11 years ago

      Are you sure you are not a member of Mugabe’s family. If anybody is dumb, you are for not seeing what has occurred in this country since these actions have been taken. Jews wanting their butts kissed? What the hell do you want. Read your text, it sounds exactly the same as you stated the Jews want.

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    camila 11 years ago

    First. Many of your comments are rude and unsympathetic. As a person who is half white and half black. I beleive that it is time TO MOVE AWAY from The PAST! It happened and now it is OVER! If we moved away from the past then we would not be still trying to kick productive farmers off their land! Fine! If the government wants the land back take it! But dont forget to keep it producing! Dont turn it into a piece of land that you take for granted and deplete all its resources. Zimbabwe used to be the biggest exporter in agriculture and now we import all our food from South Africa. That is the reason for food being so expensive in the shops….Something needs to be done about it. And yes, the white’s did use the black people but, why does it seem like we are repeating history. The point is to learn from the past and not make the mistake again. To try stop the poverty, corruption and famine in the country is the first solution.