Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Mashingaidze broke law: judge

Mashingaidze broke law: judge

THE Bulawayo High Court has granted a provisional order interdicting Rodney Mashingaidze from entering Maleme Farm following an application by a white commercial farmer from Matobo.

Mashingaidze, a senior officer in the President’s Office, had occupied the property after ordering out commercial farmer, Peter Cunningham.

Ebenezer Trust, through Cunningham, sued Mashingaidze, Lands and Rural Settlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora, Matobo’s acting district lands officer only identified as P Mhlanga and Chief Masuku.

Justice Nokuthula Moyo ruled that Mashingaidze unlawfully occupied Maleme Farm and subsequently ordered him to vacate the property.

“Mashingaidze, as a new farmer allocated land by the Ministry of Lands, could be held to derive rights from the offer letter, but deriving rights and enforcing rights are two different things,” the judge said.

“What Mashingaidze should have done to enforce the rights he believes he has by virtue of the offer letter would have been to enforce them through due process, which entails approaching the courts to enforce one’s rights of occupation.”

The judge said Mashingaidze’s conduct was an act of spoliation.

“Due process must be followed in the enforcement of the same otherwise there would be anarchy and chaos if every person who believes that they have a right or entitlement decides to take the law into their own hands and this is where the unlawfulness of Mashingaidze’s conduct is,” said Justice Moyo.

“He has to restore possession to Cunningham in accordance with the law so that if his rights of occupation are founded through judicial decree, and he eventually occupies the farm, he does so lawfully.”

The farm is also home to Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre that also provides farming lessons for young orphans.

The Maleme land dispute has raised widespread rumpus across Matabeleland South with activists saying the interests of locals were not being considered in land acquisitions.


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