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White farmers ordered to drop court cases

03/02/2018 00:00:00
by Staff reporter

MARONDERA: All white farmers who have taken the government to court over disputed farm seizures have been told to withdraw their cases and instead engage the State on how to resolve the wrangles, a government minister has said.

Addressing scores of white farmers in Marondera this week, David Musabayana, the Mashonaland East resident minister, implored white farmers who have approached the courts seeking redress over the acquisition of their farms by the government to withdraw the cases.

"It is important that you withdraw your cases before the courts and instead engage the government on how best we can resolve the disputes," Musabayana said.

"As part of our agreement, we also thought it would be prudent that we open communication lines with our farmers wherever you are. It is important that you open communication lines with the government so that we know what is happening. We don't want you to rely on social media to make decisions," he said.

His call comes when several white farmers in the province have approached the High Court seeking redress after their farms were seized by the government following the controversial land reform programme in 2000.

Last year, two brothers, David and Stephen Worswick, took two former Cabinet ministers, Tabitha Kanengoni-Malinga and Edgar Mbwembwe to the High Court for “illegally seizing” their farms in Marondera.  The cases are still pending before the courts.

Musabayana also urged the white farmers not to pay "protection fees" to government and Zanu PF officials so that their farms are not seized.

"You have been asked to pay protection fees so that you keep your land.  This should be a thing of the past in the new dispensation. You are answerable to no one except the government. You don't need to pay anyone to protect your land. It is a privilege offered to every Zimbabwean," Musabayana said. 


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