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High Court blocks police from forcefully taking over local businessman’s land

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By Staff Reporter


THE ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) has been evicted from Penrose Farm in Mt Hampden, Zvimba District, where they used to carry out their horse breeding projects, by the High Court.

This follows a successful application by a local land developer, Felix Munyaradzi through his company Delatifin Engineering.

Delatfin cited Commissioner General of police, Godwin Matanga, ZRP support unit commissioner Dube, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and Local Government minister July Moyo in their official capacity  as the respondents.

Court papers show that in 2015, Delatfin was allocated 120 hectares of a piece of land called Haydon Farm, which was previously being used for horse breeding by the ZRP.

To accommodate for the loss of the land, the local government ministry allocated the police 200 hectares of another piece of land in Zvimba called Penrose Farm.

Delatfin then constructed houses at Penrose worth US$110 849 to compensate for houses that the ZRP officers had lost when they vacated Haydon Farm.

The company started servicing the land and selling stands to members of the public after Moyo approved its layout plan for Haydon Farm.

However, on  November 24 after Matanga and Dube deployed ZRP support unit details to threaten Detaltfin’s security guards, forcefully removing them from their post and guard duties.

Delatfin approached the High Court seeking a spoliation order against Matanga, arguing that the hostile takeover of the farm was unlawful.

The company further alleged that the attack was motivated by Matanga’s desire to raise the issue of compensation which it had discharged by building houses at Penrose Farm.

Matanga in response said the matter should be struck off the roll to allow negotiations that hinged on government policy around issues of compensation.

The police boss further argued that Delatfin could not seek an interdict on the basis of an offer letter as it was issued 26 years after the police were issued their own offer letter for the same piece of land.

High court judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled in favour of Delatifin stating that the issue of compensation did not give the police rights to occupy the land.

“The fact that first respondent (Matanga) as would appear from the application appears to wrongly think that police are justified to hold on to possession of the farm until compensation is paid does not show mala fides (bad faith) but ill advice.

“Resultantly, the application succeeds. The following order is made: the first respondent shall upon service of this order restore possession and occupation of Haydon Park to the applicant. The first respondent through the second and any police officer shall not interfere with the operations of the application.”