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Supreme Court Blocks Govt From Repossessing Jonathan Moyo’s Farm

Supreme Court Blocks Govt From Repossessing Jonathan Moyo’s Farm

The Supreme Court has blocked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government from seizing exiled former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo’s farm in Mazowe.

Moyo co-owns Patterson Farm in Mazowe with his wife, Beatrice.

Justices Chinembiri Bhunu, George Chiweshe and Joseph Musakwa, on appeal, overturned a High Court ruling dismissing Moyo’s urgent application for an interdict against the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development and Barclos Mujuru.

Majuru occupied a section of the farm in October 2020 saying he had been given an offer letter for a section of the property by the lands ministry. An interim order granted in favour of Moyo on Monday reads:

Until a final decision relating to the rights of the parties can be made by this court under case number HC 290/20, or the return date of this application, whichever happens sooner, the state of occupation by applicants in respect of the remainder of Patterson Farm in Mazowe shall not be interfered with by the respondents, its employees or assigns.

Moyo lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court after High Court judge Justice Esther Muremba had dismissed his application.

Justice Muremba said Beatrice, who filed the founding affidavit, had no legal standing in the matter because the offer letter was issued to her husband.

Her lawyers disagreed, arguing that she was an applicant in the pending application for review and was entitled to “protect the integrity of an application in which she is a party.”

In the review application, Moyo and his wife are challenging the compulsory acquisition of their 623-hectare farm, which they bought for Z$6 million (US$105 400 at the time) from the government in 2002.

Moyo’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu, instructed by Chris Mhike, argues that the seizure of the farm is not only unlawful but also “motivated by extraneous reasons that are political and mala fide.”

Moyo fled to Kenya soon after the November 2017 military coup that overthrew then-President, Robert Mugabe. He said his life was in danger.

More: New Zimbabwe

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