Farmer seeks Chief Ndiweni help to enforce 2007 High Court order

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

A white commercial farmer in Matebeleland South’s Mbembesi area has renewed efforts to evict some police officers who illegally occupied his farm in the area.

In 2007, police officers invaded Portwe Estate and Bembesi Conservancy owned by Dave Joubert.

Following the invasion, Joubert sued the police officers at the High Court which ruled in his favour ordering the law enforcement agents off the property.

However, 12 years later the police officers are still on the farm and have denied Joubert access to it or to carry out an audit of equipment that he claims has been looted.

Joubert has roped in controversial traditional leader Chief Nhlahlayamangwe Ndiweni to help enforce the High Court order.

“With the support of Chief Ndiweni , the paramount chief of our neighbours, the Ndebele people with whom we have worked closely for years, we are now embarking on a campaign to apply the 2007 court order and regain our farm and conservancy,” said Joubert in a statement.

Joubert accuses the invaders of pillaging the property.

“Even entry to the farm or an audit of the property taken by police during the invasion has been frustrated and blocked by senior officers in Hwange,” he said.

Joubert accused the government of disregarding the rule of law.

“Beyond positive government rhetoric, there is apparently no plan to follow its own laws, let alone encourage development at every level.

“This visionary plan requires a government which understands the importance of the initiative and will guarantee the security of title which is also critical if international investors are to participate,” he said.

Before the invasion Portwe Estate used to breed 1 000 ostriches which were exported to the lucrative European market.

The Estate also used to employ more than 100 workers from the local community, according to Joubert.