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Chombo gets new lawyers for farm dispute

by Staff reporter
21 Jun 2022 at 06:36hrs | Views
Veteran lawyer Advocate Tapson Dzvetero is now defending the Government in the commercial civil case in which former Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo is trying to stop the Government reducing his 3 099ha farm to the normal standard size and reallocate the remainder to several others.

The Attorney-General's Office has briefed Adv Dzvetero, an expert on land cases, to represent Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Anxious Jongwe Masuka, cited as a respondent in the matter in his official capacity as the Minister.

The hearing was scheduled to begin yesterday, but Justice Jacob Manzunzu, sitting at the Commercial Court, postponed the matter at the request of Adv Dzvetero.

"I applied for the postponement to enable the Minister to file supplementary papers, which was granted," he said.

Chombo, who has occupied the large Allan Grange Farm in Zvimba for more than 20 years, in April this year obtained a High Court order blocking the Government from partitioning the farm until the courts had ruled on the legality of the reassignment.

Government wrote to Chombo last September advising him of the cancellation of a 99-year-lease he was issued in 2006 to pave way for the subdivision and resettlement of new farmers.

While the matter was still pending in court, Minister Masuka reportedly started the process of subdividing the farm for resettlement of new farmers.

Chombo rushed to court after he reportedly received calls on March 23 this year from lands officials, under the Minister's instructions, advising him that his farm was subject to re-pegging.

Professor Lovemore Madhuku wrote to the Minister challenging the takeover of the farm, but got no answer.

Instead, on March 29 and April 4 this year, some officials from the Lands ministry started the re-pegging process.

It is Chombo's contention through his legal advisors that the Minister had no powers to cancel the 99-year-lease in terms of the Land Commission Act.

Chombo was allocated the farm in 2001, and subsequently had a 99-year lease agreement approved in 2006.

Source - The Herald
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