High Court judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa on Thursday gave ZANU PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu a 24-hour ultimatum to vacate Esidakeni Farm in Nyamadlovu, Matabeleland North or face eviction.
Justice Kabasa granted an application by the human rights lawyer Siphosami Malunga, a son to the late national hero Sydney Malunga, and business partners Zephaniah Dhlamini and Charles Moyo who claim ownership to the 550-hectare which Mpofu invaded.
The trio said in court papers that they bought the farm from its former white owners in 2017. They argued that attempts to deprive them of the farm are unconstitutional.
The judge said Mpofu, his wife Sikhanyisiwe “and all those claiming occupation through them must vacate the farm within 24 hours failing which the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court with the assistance of the police must evict them.”
Mpofu and his wife, Sikhanyisiwe, who are joint owners of Mswelangubo Farm, have filed a notice to appeal the ruling.
In December 2020, the Government gave notice of its intention to seize Esidakeni Farm for resettlement.
Zimbabwe’s laws empower the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement to compulsorily acquire land without paying compensation except for improvements.
Mpofu and his wife, through their company, Mswelangubo Farm, produced an offer letter for 145 hectares of Esidakeni Farm.
Malunga, Moyo and Dhlamini have challenged the compulsory acquisition of the farm and the matter is still pending at the High Court.