RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya will now get back to his farm in Rusape after the High Court this week ordered the reversal of its compulsory acquisition.
Government erroneously acquired Inyamasitza Farm in Makoni District and allocated it to four new farmers under the land reform programme, in violation of the Constitution and the land reform policy that protects indigenously-owned farms from compulsory acquisition.
High Court judge Justice Samuel Kudya nullified the compulsory acquisition of the farm after it came to light that the farm belonged to Dr Mangudya. Dr Mangudya bought the farm in December 2000 from a white farmer, but Government compulsorily acquired it.
The court reversed Government’s decision after the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Dr Douglas Mombeshora admitted that his ministry erred in acquiring the farm.
The Attorney-General’s civil division filed a notice of opposition to Dr Mangudya’s application, but in a U-turn, Minister Mombeshora deposed an affidavit confirming Dr Mangudya as the legitimate owner of the farm.
He said he had no objection to the acquisition of the land being lifted.
“First respondent has no objection to the acquisition of the land in terms of section 16B (2) (a) of the former Constitution being lifted on the basis that at the time the farm was gazetted for acquisition, the acquisition was inconsistent with the purpose and intent of Se4ction 16A of the former Constitution, which sought to benefit indigenous people who had been previously disadvantaged under colonialism,” he said.
The minister said the other four farmers who had been issued with offer letters for the farm, will be allocated alternative land elsewhere.
In the application filed at the High Court on April 7 this year, Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Dr Douglas Mombeshora was listed as a respondent. In his founding affidavit, Dr Mangudya said the acquisition of his farm was erroneous and that the court must order its immediate reversal.
Dr Mangudya said he was a serious farmer with a track record of productive farming for the development of the nation and that the court should rule in his favour.