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Farmers sue army, police chiefs

by Staff reporter
12 Apr 2021 at 18:37hrs | Views
GOEDE Hoop Farm proprietors have approached the High Court for a second time seeking to rescind offer letters for land granted to Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Valerio Sibanda and police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga.

In the court application, Andreas, Peter and Shaun Livaditakis cited Matanga, Sibanda, a provincial lands officer and the Lands ministry as respondents.

According to an affidavit submitted by Andreas, the Sibanda and Matanga invaded Goede Hoop in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central, in 2018 and demanded that the family vacate the premises as ownership had been transferred to them.

"Sometime in 2018, the first (Matanga) and second (Sibanda) respondents stormed the farm and told me that I needed to leave the farm as the farm was now theirs.  

"I showed them the proof that I was in lawful occupation, but they forcibly entered the farm and started accommodating in my own structures on the farm.

"The first and second respondents then gave me copies of their offer letters some two months after they stormed the farm.  

"I then noted that the two documents are not really offer letters per se, but mere letters written by the fourth respondent (Lands ministry) to the first and second respondents confirming the allocations of the applicants' farm," Andreas submitted.

He is arguing that the Goede Hoop Farm belongs to the family as they entered into an agreement with the government in 2001 which converted the farm into State land.

"The applicants then agreed with the government that since the land programme had to be carried, it was important that the applicants be given and allocated Goede Hoop Farm and that the rest of the farms be given to other beneficiaries…

"The Goede Hoop Farm is protected under a Bilateral Investments Protection and Promotion Agreement (Bippa).  

"What it means is that even though the farm is now State land, it falls under Bippa and is protected accordingly," Andreas submitted.

He is demanding that the hectares of land granted to Matanga and Sibanda be declared unlawful and that the respondents give him and his fellow applicants unhindered access to the farm.

Matanga, Sibanda and the Lands ministry are yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Source - dailynews

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