A GOROMONZI white commercial farmer, Martin Grobbler, has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to retain his Buena Farm, which was allegedly seized by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) last week.
The matter, which was supposed to be heard yesterday before High Court judge Justice Happious Zhou, was deferred to Monday next week after one of the defendants, Ivy Rupanda, failed to attend the hearing.
In his application filed under case number HC7924/15, Grobbler said he had sought refuge at his neighbours’ farm after the alleged CIO’s Shorai Kudzai Muchemwa and Rupanda, invaded the farm last Friday while in the company of Mashonaland East chief lands officer one Motsi and district lands officer Abigail Mangwiro.
“I was given 48 hours to vacate the farm and take my dogs with me as that was the only gift I could be offered. The 1st respondent (Muchemwa) proceeded to change locks to the rest of my building except my kitchen and bedroom where she said I could collect some few items,” Grobbler said.
“My family has since sought refuge from a nearby farm owned by a colleague as the respondents appeared serious and demonstrated nothing will stop them from their objective.”
The farmer said initially, the group had visited on Wednesday last week and told him they had come to subdivide his farm to make way for some other persons that had been allocated the same land, but it later turned out that the persons referred to were the CIOs.
“On the 21st of August 2015, the first to fourth respondent came again and told me that I should vacate the farm and that he had brought some members of the CIO with him to deal with me if I wanted to be arrogant,” Grobbler said. “I pleaded with them that I was not being arrogant, but had only thought that our courts should have the final say, but I was told to shut up . . . the third respondent (Motsi) told me that he will have nothing of that argument since he was merely doing his duty and that the High Court will not tell him what to do as he was not employed by the High Court.”
Grobbler, who says is a holder of an offer letter of the said farm, further said although he explained to the government officials that he was a bona-fide holder of an offer letter and a Zimbabwean citizen, his claims were scoffed at by Mangwiro who said Muchemwa and Rupanda were more Zimbabweans than he was.
“The fourth respondent (Mangwiro) said that the first and second respondents Muchemwa and Rupanda had offer letters to the farm too and that because they were more Zimbabwean than I was to take over the farm. I was left speechless,” Globbler said.
The farmer further said the group then proceeded to enter his house, ransacked all over, but only allowed him to take his clothes and leave everything else including kitchen utensils which Rupanda said she wanted to use the following day upon taking over the farm.
“I would possibly understand the respondents if I was a foreigner and if I was staying at the farm illegally. I am advised which advice I believe to be true that Gazetted Land Act protects me since I am at the farm through lawful authority,” Grobbler said. newsday