A MUTARE magistrate has referred the matter in which 51 people are fighting their eviction from Reuben Clare Farm by the provincial Central Intelligence Organisation’s boss Patrick Mukorera to the Constitutional Court.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Magistrate Yeukai Chigodora ruled on November 20 that the application by the 51 families for the referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court is not
frivolous and vexatious as it is based on the fear by the respondents that their rights were being violated.
According to Mukorera’s application, the 51 respondents who have been farm workers since 1982 under Van Resberg, before the CIO boss was offered the 200-hectare farm in 2010, have been in unlawful occupation since they were staying there without his consent.
Mukorera has been trying to evict the 51 respondents whom he alleged had been defiant hence he approached the court to seek their eviction.
On the other hand, the respondents who were represented by Passmore Nyakureba, submitted that the eviction of the 51 without granting them alternative accommodation is in breach of sections such as 28 (right to shelter), 51 (right to human dignity), 72 (7) (right to agricultural land) and 64 of the Constitution.
“The prospects of being evicted and thrown into the open expose us to indignity of being at the mercy of the dangerous agents of the weather which include the rains, the wind, storms, lightning, floods, heat, the cold nights, dangers of wild animals, reptiles and crawling creatures,” read the respondents’ application.
“It can never be said or imagined thus that the legislation and constitutional provisions on the land reform programme intended to disempower former black Zimbabwean farm labourers who worked under the previous land occupation regime. If at all it also seeks to empower them through the indigenisation of land.”
In her ruling, magistrate Chigodora granted the application leave for referral to the Constitutional Court.
“It is my well considered opinion that the application for referral to the Constitutional Court is not frivolous and vexatious but genuinely found on the Respondents’ fear of their rights being violated. Accordingly the application is granted as prayed for,” reads part of Chigodora’s ruling.