Wednesday, 31 October 2018

ED TOP AIDE GRABBED PART OF MY FARM

Deputy chief secretary to the president and Cabinet, Justin Mupamhanga, has been embroiled in a nasty farm wrangle in Bindura, following a boundary dispute which has spilled into the High Court.

According to the court application, Soul Gomwe is the applicant, while Mupamhanga and Lands minister Perrance Shiri are cited as respondents.

Gomwe told the court that in 2002, he was allocated Subdivision 3 and 4 of Argyle Park Farm in Bindura by the Lands minister.

“The respondent (Mupamhanga) and I have been involved in a boundary dispute which dates back to 2003. That dispute remains unresolved up to date. Since 2003, the first respondent has made numerous illegal attempts to illegally appropriate 40 hectares of my piece of land and a farm house, which attempts I have been resisting since 2003,” Gomwe said.

He said he had written letters to the relevant authorities seeking remedies against Mupamhanga.

“The first respondent showed his determination to annex the aforesaid 40 hectares of land which constitute 20 hectares of arable land by clandestinely obtaining a purported 99-year lease from the office of the second respondent (Lands minister) through fraudulent means.

“The purported 99-year lease has a map which purportedly extends the boundaries of his farm Tomy Farm. The aforesaid 99-year lease has effect of consolidating my farm with the first respondent’s farm,” Gomwe told the court.

He accused Mupamhanga and the Lands minister of unilaterally changing his farm’s boundaries, without affording him an opportunity to make any representations.

“I submit with due respect that the decision to change the boundaries of our respective farms has the effect of adversely affecting my rights, as such, it was irregular and illegal for the second respondent to alter the boundaries without affording the applicant an opportunity to be heard,” he said.

He said that it is also government policy that no 99-year lease is issued to anyone in the event that there is a pending dispute over a particular farm, adding that Mupamhanga had misrepresented that there was no dispute pertaining to the land in question.

He said Mupamhanga had approached the court in 2013, seeking to evict him from the 40 hectares. He however, said the application was dismissed on the basis that it was not proper for Mupamhanga to evict him using a map that was obtained through unprocedural means.

Gomwe said he later filed a complaint to the Zimbabwe Land Commission in October last year, forcing Mupamhanga to file another application seeking to evict him.

The Zimbabwe Land Commission ruled in Gomwe’s favour, and Mupamhanga appealed to the Lands ministry and the hearing is still pending.

He however, said Mupamhanga has started erecting a fence which cuts across his field. He said Mupamhanga has resorted to use of “violence and intimidation” in trying to wrestle the piece of land.
Gomwe is now seeking an interdict, barring Mupamhanga from annexing his farm by erecting a fence before the finalisation of the appeal and that the government official be ordered not to use any threats of violence against him.

Mupamhanga has not yet responded to the application. Daily News

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