Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Figtree farms chaos intensifies

Figtree farms chaos intensifies

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s deputy chief secretary Ray Ndhlukula has reportedly threatened to take over a neighbouring farm belonging to Figtree David Connolly’s brother to punish the farmer for challenging him in court.


Ndhlukula recently grabbed Centenary Farm from Connolly despite a High Court order barring him from interfering with operations at the property.

Connolly was driven away from Centenary Farm on Tuesday last week and his workers were stopped from growing crops by Ndhlukula’s workers, who have now barricaded the farm.

Ndhlukula’s workers had been camped at the farm for a while and a contempt of court case against Ndhlukula filed at the High Court is yet to be heard.

Connolly told Southern Eye that he was now living in Bulawayo after being chased away from his property.

His brother Michael said a government delegation from Plumtree had come to his Benovullum Farm in Figtree and advised him to vacate the property.

“They came here with the district administrator and lands officers as well as the Figtree police and advised me to vacate the farm,” he said.

“The team advised me that it was because of our actions that I should leave the farm.

“However, they looked very embarrassed, but you could see that they are people working on orders.

“They didn’t give me any letter or documentation and since Thursday I haven’t heard from them. Right now I am busy with my farming.”

Connolly said the delegation that visited Michael included the Figtree district administrator he only identified as a Mrs Moyo and a lands officer, Mr Dodzi.

“On Thursday September 18, my brother Michael on the neighbouring property was visited by a delegation escorted by Inspector Tanatsho from the Figtree Police Station,” he said.

“This delegation consisted of the DA Mrs Moyo, the lands officer Mr Dodzi and five or six other people. Mrs Moyo informed my brother that she had received a directive from Harare that he must get off his farm.

“She told him that the reason he must get off his farm was that I had gone to court.

“My brother said that due process surely needed to be followed and Tanatsho’s response was that it was not necessary.”

Connolly said on Friday he went to the Figtree Police Station with a letter from his lawyers pointing out that due process was required as their concern was that at any time his brother could be arrested.

“They are able to ignore a valid Zimbabwe High Court order with impunity and without police support I cannot go back to my house or my crops which have not been irrigated or harvested since the September 16 nor can I plant the 30 000 cabbage seedlings that were ready a week ago as well as other cabbages that were due to be planted in future weeks,” he said.

Connolly said he took up the case with police deputy commissioner-general Innocent Matibiri, Mugabe’s nephew, but found no joy.

He said on Monday, Michael was forced to move 200 cattle off his farm as he could not supply him with any water for his feedlot and the expansion of his dairy was now under severe threat.

Ndhlukula reportedly has two other farms in Matabeleland South, identified as Wilfred Hope Farm in Marula and Vlakfontein — otherwise known as Subdivision 2 of Marula Block.

Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Obert Mpofu last Wednesday described renewed farm invasions as the work of criminals saying Zanu PF had long done away with forcible land seizures.


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