Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Bennett demands judge’s farm inventory in defamation case

Bennett Demands Judge’s Farm Inventory In Defamation Case

26/11/2010 08:50:00

Harare, November 26, 2010 – Tormented Movement for Democratic Change
Treasurer Roy Bennett has challenged High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri
Bhunu to disclose the number of farms which were allocated to the Judge in a
test case to the chaotic land reform exercise.

Bennett, who is being sued by Bhunu wrote to the Judge’s lawyers requesting
to be furnished with an inventory of farms that he has laid claim over the
past 10 years when President Robert Mugabe’s previous government embarked on
a land grab exercise.

“Has plaintiff (Bhunu) been allocated a farm under the land reform
programme? Plaintiff is required to set out, all farms allocated to him with
full particulars thereof, duration of occupation of each farm and current
farm occupied by the Plaintiff (Bhunu). Have the owners of such farms been
fully compensated for the farms?” reads part of the letter which was written
to Bhunu by Bennett’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.

Besides requesting for the number of farms that were allocated to the Judge
Bennett also wants Bhunu to inform him whether he has received any other
remuneration, perks and others benefits from “any quarter other than his

The former legislator who is currently exiled in South Africa wants Bhunu to
furnish him with details of the place where the alleged interview between
himself and British journalist took place.

Bhunu, who in May acquitted Bennett on terror related charges, is suing the
former legislator for $1 million in damages for defamation.

Bhunu alleges that the damages resulted from wrongful and defamatory words
which were uttered by Bennett during an interview which the former coffee
farmer allegedly granted to a reporter from The Guardian newspaper of the
United Kingdom, on or around May 9, 2010 before he delivered his judgment
acquitting the former Chimanimani legislator.

Bhunu’s lawyers alleged that the remarks attributed to Bennett were
published on May 24, 2010 by an internet-based publication, the Zimbabwe
Guardian Newspaper, which they claim enjoys wide distribution on account of
being available on the internet free of charge.

Bhunu acquitted Bennett on May 10, 2010 after ruling that the State’s
prosecution team, led by Attorney General Johannes Tomana, had failed to
establish a prima facie case against the former Chimanimani Member of

Tomana later appealed against Justice Bhunu’s decision to acquit Bennett.
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku recently reserved judgment after hearing
submissions from both the State and Bennett’s lawyers in relation to the


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