JUSTICE, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs deputy minister Fortune Chasi and a senior Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) officer, only identified as P Kazingizi, are embroiled in a row over the planned eviction of former farm workers settled at a farm located in the Mazowe area.
The two clashed after Kazingizi attempted to evict the settlers claiming the property — Bloomfield Farm — had been allocated to him. But Chasi, who is the Zanu PF MP for the area, has since blocked the move.
The wrangle has since sucked in AFZ’s directorate of litigation and training led by AFZ Group Captain Albert Murove.
In one of the letters, Murove ordered Chasi to back off and challenged the legislator’s involvement in the matter.
“We note you are responding to our letter dated January 2, which letter was not directed to yourself, but was indeed part of the legal process and a notice of eviction directed to certain individuals at the instance of a client of ours Mr P Kazingizi,” Murove said in a letter dated January 17 this year.
Murove added: “We will, therefore, not be intimidated by anyone or office in our quest to achieve justice for a member of the Air Force and to protect him from acts of lawlessness from marauding thugs and/or some such like-minded individuals or officials, be they politicians or otherwise.”
In his response, Chasi accused AFZ officials of assaulting settlers, firing guns and intimidating civilians by pointing guns at them, all in an effort to force them to leave the farm.
“As indicated in my conversation with you this morning, your, Mr Kazingizi, emboldened by your letter, tried to coerce the police at Mazowe to effect the eviction and when that failed, he commandeered five soldiers who assaulted occupants of that piece of land,” Chasi claimed.
“Shots were fired and guns pointed at innocent civilians including a 12-year-old who was chased by Kazingizi at gunpoint. This is the second time I am informed, he has brought violent solders to the farm.”
Murove, however, dismissed Chasi’s claims arguing if there was any truth in the allegations raised by the settlers, the matter ought to have been reported to police.
“It is unfortunate that in the circumstances the only inference to be drawn from the conduct of your clients (settlers) is that such allegations are only being raised as an afterthought and as a reaction to the legal process being taken to evict them, in an effort to distract us from the real issue,” Murove said.
Murove further said his office would proceed to issue eviction summons “regardless of any extra-legal or extra-judicial intervention on their behalf, irrespective of which office or who they approach or use”.
Both Murove and Chasi could not be reached for comment yesterday.