Thursday, 17 November 2016

ARMY BOSSES ORDERED OFF FARM

Zimbabwe National Army Commander, Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda, Brigadier Stanley Mangena and a Harare lawyer, Purity Chikangaise, have been ordered to stop interfering and removing farm equipment from a Goromonzi farm, owned by war veteran, Cynthia Maadza.

The order against the top army officers came after Maadza, a security officer at the Parliament of Zimbabwe, filed an extremely urgent chamber application at the court on October 12, 2016, accusing the trio of threatening to seize her property from the farm using force.

The farm, referred to as Subdivision 1 of Sussexdale Farm in Goromonzi District, Mashonaland East, was previously owned by Geoffrey Kelly McKinnon, who was evicted from the property on August 30 this year through an order of the court.

Maadza was legally declared the owner through an offer letter. In his determination, High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe ordered the two army officers and the lawyer not to remove any property from the farm. He ruled that if, at all, they had removed anything, it must be immediately returned.

“The first to third respondents (Sibanda, Mangena and Chikangaise) and all those acting or purporting to act through them refrain from attending at the applicant’s (Maadza) farm for the purpose of removing any of the farm equipment,” Justice Hungwe said.

“In the event of non-compliance with this order upon demand and in the event that the deputy sheriff faces any resistance in enforcing this order, he be and is, hereby, authorised to enlist the services of the [police] for immediate enforcement.”

In her application, Maadza said Sibanda and Mangena had on October 12 this year instructed three gun-wielding soldiers to invade her farm, demanding access to the warehouse with the intention of removing property, which the army bosses had ordered them to get.

“This is an extremely urgent ex-parte application for an interdict barring the second and third respondents (Sibanda and Chikangaise) from interfering with my prima facie right of occupation and use of the farm and farm equipment acquired by the fourth respondent (Lands and Rural Resettlement minister) and lawfully bestowed on me,” Maadza said in her affidavit.

She further said she discovered Chikangaise had written a letter to the messenger of court seeking to “unlawfully” enter the warehouse and obtain farm equipment and property, but her move was thwarted by the latter.

The war veteran said before she could even “recover from the shock of the above discovery”, three army officers clad in military regalia and wielding guns, descended on her farm demanding access to the warehouse, saying they had authority from Sibanda and Mangena “to take over and remove the farm equipment and all materials in the warehouse”.

“The two proceeded to threaten my farm workers with eviction from the farm, assault and some serious and unknown action, while they hovered around the warehouse wielding their guns. They attempted to forcefully open the warehouse and failed,” she said.

Maadza said the soldiers threatened to bring a platoon at any time on October 12 and that they wanted to find the warehouse open, so they could take whatever they wanted.
Maadza was represented by Taona Sibanda. newsday

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