Police fail to enforce court decision

Police have reportedly failed to enforce a High Court ruling ordering individuals occupying a farm in Chipinge, Manicaland, to vacate the property owned by white commercial farmer, Trevor Gifford.
The police reluctance comes amid allegations that a powerful Zanu PF politician and Cabinet Minister threatened to cause the arrest of any police officer found assisting white commercial farmers to regain control of their invaded farms.
Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF politburo secretary for administration and Minister of Presidential Affairs, allegedly threatened with arrest and detention, of any police officer who assisted white commercial farmers regain control of their properties.
Keys to the holding cells (where the police would be detained), Mutasa is alleged to have said, would be handed to Deputy Commissioner General of Police, Godwin Matanga.
By yesterday, police were reportedly dilly-dallying in enforcing the court ruling declaring illegal the occupation of Gifford’s Wolverhampton Farm by invaders.
Gifford spent most of yesterday at the police station in Chipinge seeking assistance to enforce the High Court order.
His lawyer, Trust Maanda, said: “The last time I spoke with Gifford he said the people in occupation were still staying put on the farm in spite of the order of the High Court. He was making efforts to have the police enforce the order but they seemed not keen to take action.”
Wayne Bvudzijena, the police national spokesperson, said he did not have any information on the goings-on in Chipinge. “Call me tomorrow,” he said.High Court judge, Justice George Chiweshe ruled on June 30 that the occupiers “and those acting through or in possession of the applicant’s house on subdivision 17 of Wolverhampton Farm, Chipinge, shall restore possession and occupation of the house to the applicant who is hereby entitled forthwith to resume occupation of the house and continue his farming operations on subdivision 17 of Wolverhampton Farm (measuring 150 hectares) without hindrance, interference or obstruction.”
But despite being in possession of the court order, police were reportedly dragging their feet. Disclosures that Mutasa allegedly threatened police officers are contained in the court application filed by Gifford. Mutasa has dismissed Gifford’s accusations as “nonsense”.

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