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Kuruneri sues Mazowe RDC over damaged farm

by Staff reporter
24 Jul 2019 at 08:24hrs | Views
Former Finance minister Christopher Tichaona Kuruneri has petitioned the High Court to compel Mazowe Rural District Council (MRDC) to rehabilitate part of his farm damaged when the local authority was illegally excavating gravel.

Kuruneri is also demanding that MRDC must compensate him $30 000 for the land which he can no longer use for farming or grazing.

In his declaration, Kuruneri said the incident leading to the current lawsuit occurred in April this year when council's employees descended on his Ascotvale Farm in Mazowe and started excavating gravel using a bulldozer without his consent.

"The first defendant Mazowe Rural District Council's employees came to the plaintiff (Kuruneri) 's farm with a bulldozer, cleared a very large area on the farm and started excavating for gravel using the bulldozer," he said.

"Upon being questioned and being told that they were trespassing on private property and were going to be arrested and taken to Mazowe Police Station, they then admitted that they were employees of the first defendant and had been instructed by the first defendant's representative, whom they referred to as their boss, to come to plaintiff's farm to get the gravel."

Kuruneri further said before vacating his farm, MRDC's employees contacted their said boss and told him what had transpired and shortly thereafter, a councillor, one Dumisani, contacted Kuruneri's wife apologising for the inconvenience and the unlawful act that had been done by the council's employees.

He further said a few days later, MRDC's chief executive officer, one Liberty Mufandaedza, who is cited as the second respondent, also called Kuruneri's wife and apologised for the damage that had been caused to the land, saying he was not aware that the said piece of land had been set aside for agricultural purposes.

"The first defendant's employees left very large holes and scathed a huge land surface on the plaintiff's farm leading to massive land degradation … in addition that land was set aside for cultivation and cattle grazing, but due to the actions which were done by the defendants, that part of the farm is no longer usable," he said, urging the court to order the council to backfill all the holes and pay compensation.

Source - newsday