Conservancy owner approaches Chihuri to recover farm

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A BEITBRIDGE-BASED wildlife conservancy owner has approached Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri seeking the eviction of a group of people who invaded his property.

By Staff Reporter

In a letter to Chihuri dated March 25, 2015 WAI Ferguson, who runs two conservancies in the border town, said the police chief for Beitbridge and the local lands officer were reluctant to implement a 2013 court ruling ordering the eviction of the invaders.

“The ZRP Beitbridge Rural and District Office have refused to provide the Messenger of Court any assistance to carry out a High Court order and, even worse, have pursued a policy of arrests and harassment in defiance of the order granted by the High Court,” Ferguson said in the letter to Chihuri.

“It is with sincere regret, that once again, we have been forced to write to you to seek your intervention in our matter. The main burden of this communication is with regard to the officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Patrick Majuta’s refusal to assist the Deputy Sheriff to eject the illegal occupants off our game farm.”

The farm is a registered Wildlife Conservation Farm and Ferguson was granted a High Court order to eject all people placed by the Lands minister or his delegates on the property.

“The situation on the property is getting totally out of control with 10 to 12 invaders who not a single one of them actually live on the farm and with the lands officer Mutilisa Moyo wandering around the property allocating and pegging out more as they call them ‘plots’,” the letter further reads.

“There is now four to 500 head of cattle and an unknown number of goats all concentrated in a square kilometre of the Umzingwane Indigenous Forest which will be destroyed in a very short time and be turned into a dustbowl.”

Ferguson added: “To aggravate matters, with the 47 kilometres of the game fence having been vandalised and stolen, large numbers of cattle and donkeys are pouring onto the property in hundreds from the adjacent communal and resettled areas.

“The invaders have all been served with High Court ejectment orders some two and three times, which they have chosen to ignore on the advice of the lands officer who has assured them that nothing will happen to them. The invaders have been led to believe that any ‘ejectment’ without a police escort can be ignored. Ejectment order attached,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Majuta and the lands officer were fruitless as their mobile phones were unreachable while national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Charity Charamba said she was unaware of the matter.