Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Top aide faces eviction

Mugabe aide faces eviction



EVICTED Figtree farmer, David Connolly, is seeking the services of the police and the Deputy Sheriff to evict one of President Robert Mugabe’s aides, Ray Ndhlukula, after he allegedly refused to vacate the farm with only a day remaining before the expiry of a 14-day ultimatum given to him by the court.

By Richard Muponde

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva two weeks ago sentenced Ndhukula to 90 days in prison for contempt of court and ordered him to remove all his livestock and movable assets from the farm within 48 hours of being served the order.

He had been accused of defying a provisional order barring him from evicting the farmer and interfering with farm operations.

Ndhlukula’s 90-day prison sentence was suspended on condition that he complied fully with the order and the provisional order in case number HC1204/14 within 14 days, but he has remained adamant, with the grace period set to expire tomorrow.

Connolly yesterday confirmed that the Mugabe top man had not moved any of his property or livestock from the farm.

“He has done nothing to comply with the court order,” he said.

“We will be seeking the police and the Deputy Sheriff to intervene and evict him.”

The latest development comes after confusion continues to reign over the ownership of Centenary Farm. Last week, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora wrote to Connolly telling him of its acquisition.

The farm owner, Connolly, celebrated a short-lived victory after the Bulawayo High Court ordered Ndhlukula off the farm.

Instead of enforcement of the High Court order, Connolly was charged with occupying the farm illegally, despite him having been forced out to make way for Ndhlukula.

In his ruling, Justice Takuva said it should be noted that contempt of court was a serious infraction in that it struck at the heart of the rule of law and consequently those found liable must be sufficiently punished.

Connolly is embroiled in a fierce legal battle with Ndhlukula, who has been trying to move into Centenary Farm since June last year despite a High Court order barring him from interfering with operations at the property.

Connolly failed to plant at the farm where Ndhlukula had already planted a maize crop. Ndhlukula, in December 2014, drove his cattle onto the farm despite the court interdict.

Mugabe’s aide reportedly tried to take over David’s brother, Michael’s Benovullum Farm in the same area, as punishment for Connolly’s “lack of respect” in getting a court order against him.

Connolly’s property is one of the most productive in Matabeleland South.

Ndhlukula’s workers camped at Connolly’s farm in August last year after evicting of farm workers from their dwellings.

In September 2014, Connolly was chased from the farm and his workers were stopped from growing crops by Ndhlukula’s workers before the farm was barricaded.

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



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