The High Court has barred Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa from evicting former Zanu PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipanga from his Headlands farm.
This comes after Chipanga through his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku filed an urgent chamber application accusing Mutsvangwa of grabbing his farm and illegally handing it over to a white farmer.
“We have agreed by consent that the status quo be restored and that Chipanga goes back to the farm and co-exist with the white farmer pending the outcome of an eviction order filed by Chipanga before a different court,” Madhuku told the Daily News after the hearing of the case yesterday.
In the urgent chamber application, Chipanga had cited Mutsvangwa, former Local Government deputy minister Christopher Chingosho, Alias Masuku, Andrew Dawson and James Chisholm as respondents.
“This is an urgent chamber application seeking in the first instance an order barring the respondents from forcibly removing the applicant from Wakefield Farm, Headlands and restoring status quo ante prior to the events of the 11th of the June 2018 which shall be narrated hereunder and in the second instance interdicting the respondents, in particular the fourth and fifth respondents (Dawson and Chisholm)from continuing to occupy applicant’s farm, which is Wakefield Farm on the instruction and blessing of the first to third respondents (Mutsvangwa, Chingosho and Masuku), without lawful right therefore,” Chipanga said in his court affidavit.
He said the farm was initially earmarked for Manicaland State University, which offer was turned down by the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry. He said the farm was subsequently allocated to him in August 2016.
“The applicant, since the date of allocation has been in quiet and undisturbed occupation of the farm. I am advised, which advise I verily believe to be true and correct that the respondents have no right whatsoever to evict me from my farm without an order from a competent court or without following due process.
“I am further advised, which advice I verily believe to be true and correct that the conduct of the respondents is only befitting in a banana republic, where the law of the jungle is the order of the day,” Chipanga said.
He said that he has proved peaceful and undisturbed ownership of the farm and has also gone further to prove legal ownership of the property.
“I am advised that for me to succeed in such matters, I have to establish a prima-facie right and that right should be under threat or there is a reasonable suspicion of the right being violated.
“I submit that from the narration I have made above, it is clear that the actions of the fourth and fifth respondents are directed at causing grave and irreparable harm on my undisputed right of occupation of my farm and only an urgent order of this honourable court can stop this manifest injustice from continuously being perpetrated against me,” he said.