Friday, 15 July 2022

OBERT MPOFU LEAVES FARM IN A HUFF


ZANU PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu (pictured) yesterday left Esidakeni Farm in Nyamandlovu in a huff after human rights lawyer Siphosami Malunga and his business partners won a Supreme Court case against the high-ranking politician.

Malunga won a High Court order to stop Mpofu from evicting him from the farm but the top Zanu PF official appealed to the Supreme Court.

The superior court threw out his appeal on Tuesday this week.

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Malunga co-owns Kershelmar Farm, popularly known as Esidakeni, with his business associates gold miner Charles Moyo and a National University of Science and Technology (Nust) scientist Zephania Dhlamini.

Their lawyers, Webb, Low and Barry on Tuesday wrote to Mpofu’s legal representatives Ndove and Associates, giving the politician 24 hours to vacate the farm.

The Zimbabwe Independent understands that Mpofu packed his load and left Esidakeni Farm at around midday yesterday.

“We believe by now you have uplifted the judgment by the Supreme Court in which your client’s appeal was dismissed. Can you please ask your client to vacate the farm by close of business July 14, 2022 and allow our client to take immediate occupation, failing of which we are issuing a writ of ejection,” the lawyers declared in the letter.

In the Supreme Court ruling, the bench made up of Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, Justice Alfas Chitakunye and Justice Hlekani Mwayera ruled that Mpofu’s appeal had no merit adding that he should pay the costs of the case. The judges also described Mpofu’s taking over of the farm as a “brazen invasion” which was done without following due process. They also ordered Mpofu to vacate the farm and desist from disrupting operations.

In the Supreme Court appeal, Mpofu, his wife Sikhanyisiwe, and their company Mswelangubo Farm (Pvt) Ltd claimed to have taken over Esidakeni Farm on the basis that they had an offer letter.

The Zanu PF politburo member in December last year moved into Esidakeni Farm following his controversial offer of a portion of the hotly contested farm.

Esidakeni is a 553-hectare dairy farm bought by Malunga and partners in 2017 from former white farmers through Kershelmar Farms (Private) Limited.

However, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, and Rural Resettlement Anxious Masuku acquired the farm through a Notice of Acquisition General Notice 3042 of 2020 in the Government Gazette on December 18, 2020. Mpofu was handed over the farm through his company Mswelangubo Farm, which he owns with his wife, Sikhanyisiwe, who was allocated 154 hectares.

Other beneficiaries of the government acquisition notice are Bulawayo businessman and Nust lecturer Dumisani Madzivanyati, who was allocated 50 hectares, while Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officer Reason Mpofu was also allocated 50 hectares. Zimbabwe Independent

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