THE new owner of Gwayi River Farm in Hwange, Thomas Ndlovu, has clashed with former workers, who have invaded the farm’s Halfway House Hotel, challenging his takeover of the property.
BY SILAS NKALA
Ndlovu was allocated the farm by Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora on August 26,2016, but has faced resistance from six former workers, who have seized part of the farm, including a hotel, kiosk, service station and a workers’ compound.
The matter recently spilled into the courts, where Hwange magistrate Sharon Rosemani ruled in Ndlovu’s favour and ordered the feuding parties to co-exist peacefully and share the properties equally.
Part of the order read: “Parties are to keep the peace towards each other. By consent, parties must abide by the following, not to interfere with each other’s activities. Plaintiff (former workers) must run the hotel and filling station.
Defendant (Ndlovu) to run the kiosk. Plaintiff must vacate Halfway Hotel filling station and each party must bear the costs,” ruled Rosemani.
But, Ndlovu, through his lawyers, Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners recently wrote to the farm workers asking them to vacate the property.
“Our client is a beneficiary of the Zimbabwe land reform programme having been allocated the whole of Gwaai River Farm 114 within the district of Hwange, Matabeleland North province measuring 836,82 hectares. It is in terms of the law that upon such allocation of the land it includes all structures and developments thereon,” read the lawyers’ letter.
“That within the land allocated …there are structures … known as Halfway House Hotel comprising of a hotel, kiosk, service station and a compound.”
The lawyers said the occupants have remained in occupation of the hotel to an extent of running their own business.
“Your actions … are unlawful. Langton Masunda has also turned the hotel, through yourself, into his residence. We have been instructed to demand from you … to immediately stop all your unlawful business operations and that you vacate from the hotel and its compound,” the lawyers wrote.
The lawyers threatened to take the matter to the courts if the former workers remained defiant.
The ex-workers are yet to respond to the eviction demand.