Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Detained farmer faces third weekend behind bars

Detained farmer faces third weekend behind bars

By Alex Bell
23 February 2012

A former farmer who was arrested for fighting to remain in his Vumba home 
now faces a third weekend behind bars, after his bail hearing was once again 
postponed on Thursday.

74 year old Peter Hingeston was arrested almost two weeks ago after failing 
to appear in court, in connection with the legal battle over his rights to 
his property.

His absence from court was on medical grounds, but instead of being fined or 
reprimanded as is usually expected under these circumstances, Hingeston was 
thrown behind bars.

Hingeston’s stay in custody has been drawn out for almost two weeks, with 
repeated delays to his bail hearings. Last Friday, after a week behind bars, 
his bail was postponed because the police ‘mislaid’ his case documents.

On Tuesday efforts to have him released were once again delayed when the 
hearing was postponed to Thursday, with no reasons given for this decision. 
The hearing has now been postponed once again, this time to next week 
Monday, meaning Hingeston will stay in custody for a third weekend.

Meanwhile his trial for prosecution under the Gazetted Land (Consequential 
Provisions) Act for his alleged illegal occupation of his retirement home in 
the Vumba Mountains is due to start on Friday.

Hingeston was forced off his Lowveld sugar cane farm in the mid 2000s and 
‘retired’ to a house and plot of land in Vumba. But it’s believed that a top 
police official wants that property and for the last four years Hingeston 
has been fighting to stay there.

Charles Taffs, the President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), told SW 
Radio Africa this week that ‘the game’ being played to keep Hingeston behind 
bars is an attempt to force him to hand over his land.


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