Gutu Farmer Wants Charity Mugabe Off His Farm

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

A GUTU man, Solomon Chikanda Tuesday approached the High Court with an urgent chamber application seeking an order to evict Charity Mugabe from his Eastdale Ranch Farm, which she is accused of occupying unlawfully.

Chikanda said he acquired the farm from Anna Manzanga in 2003, but she passed on in 2005 before transferring her rights of the farm to him.

However, he was later awarded a certificate of occupancy by the Gutu Rural District Council through the Local Government Ministry and has been paying the taxes.

Mugabe is cited as the 1st respondent and Lands Minister Anxious Masuka is cited as the 2nd respondent.

“This matter is urgent and has been treated as such on the following grounds that I was in lawful possession of the farm doing all my farming activities in peaceful undisturbed possession,” read the court papers.

“As a result of the unlawful occupation by the first respondent and her agents, I am no longer able to exercise my farming activities peacefully. As the rainy season approaches, I would suffer irreparable harm as I will be unable to plant my crops for this season. My yield will be reduced.

“I have a genuine fear and well-grounded apprehension that the first respondent will use the farm for her own benefit, or even sell or otherwise alienate or dispose of the farm and permanently deprive me.

“No other alternative remedy will ensure that the first respondent will stop the unlawful dispossession of the farm. I am advised that spoliation proceedings are simply meant to restore the status quo.”

Chikanda told the court Mugabe would not face any irreparable harm if the relief sought was granted.

“I aver that if the order is not granted, the first respondent will be unjustly enriched at my expense. Myself as the applicant, I am the one who will suffer irreparable harm. The first respondent will not suffer any prejudice considering that it is the status quo, which will be restored if the order is granted.”

The aggrieved farmer is praying the application and relief sought, be granted based on the balance of convenience since he has been working on the farm for over 15 years.

“Balance of convenience favours that the relief being sought, be granted as I was already in possession of the farm and paying all the taxes for more than 10 years, having all the papers favouring me to be in possession of the farm,” Chikanda added.

“For those reasons stated above, I respectfully pray that the court be pleased to grant the relief sought urgently. In the circumstances, I pray that the court may be pleased to order that possession of the farm be restored to myself immediately.

“I see no reason why the first respondent should oppose this application and if opposed, I pray for costs on a legal practitioner-client scale. If my prayer is not considered as a matter of urgency, I will suffer irreparable harm.”