Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Senior govt official ordered to vacate farm

Senior govt official ordered to vacate farm

Mashudu Netsianda Senior Court Reporter
THE battle for the control of Avalon Farm in Umzingwane district has taken a new twist following a fresh ruling by the Bulawayo High Court ordering a senior government official, Zenzo Ntuliki, to vacate the property. Ntuliki occupied the farm two months ago after booting out white farmer Timothy Sean White following a ruling by Gwanda provincial magistrate Reuben Mukavhi.

The magistrate, in April, ordered White to vacate Lot 2 of Lot 36 of Essexvale Avalon Farm which was allocated to Ntuliki and fined the commercial farmer $300 or 30 days in prison for illegally occupying gazetted land.

Mukavhi said White had disregarded the law by continuously occupying the land without the blessings of the relevant authorities.

Not satisfied with the magistrate’s decision, White through his lawyers Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners, filed a notice of appeal and an urgent chamber application for stay of execution pending the appeal at the High Court.

According to court papers, White won the appeal on May 20 and he was granted the order for stay of execution by Justice Maxwell Takuva, but Ntuliki proceeded with the eviction order.

Last Thursday, Justice Martin Makonese ordered Ntuliki to vacate Avalon Farm within 48 hours of receiving the order.

“It’s not disputed that the applicant has obtained an order of the court staying execution pending appeal. He is therefore clearly on the farm in terms of the law and the first respondent (Ntuliki) must allow due process to take effect for he can’t ask the court to ignore its own orders and allow self-help,” said Justice Makonese.

The judge said Ntuliki should follow the law if he wants his rights to be protected under the law.

“A litigant may not on one hand seek the assistance and protection from the courts and yet on the other hand disobey the orders of the same courts. In the result, the applicant is granted in terms of the draft order and the first respondent is to pay the cost of suit,” ruled Justice Makonese.

White accused Ntuliki of harvesting his tomatoes worth $5,800 at the farm.

They have, since the beginning of the year, been locked in a legal wrangle over the control of Avalon Farm with both parties claiming to be the rightful owners of the disputed property.

Justice Nokuthula Moyo, in March, barred Ntuliki from occupying the Esigodini farm before the Gwanda provincial magistrate gave him the green light to take over the property.

Justice Moyo dismissed the application by Ntuliki to bar White from interfering with activities at the farm saying the government official had not followed proper procedures in occupying the farm since White had not been given an eviction notice.

Ntuliki had argued that White was blocking his workers from occupying the farm and was refusing to vacate the property. He said he had an offer letter from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Settlement authorising him to remain on the farm.


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