FORMER Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere has been ordered to allow a Banket white farmer to remove his equipment from his former farm.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Former Buryhill Estate and Chikomo Chemhunga Farm owners, Stodart Brothers (Pvt) Ltd, had approached the court through their representative, Robert Alexander Stodart, seeking to be declared the rightful owners of the farm equipment which Muchechetere was allegedly refusing to allow them to remove from the farm.
In his ruling on Wednesday this week, High Court judge Justice David Mangota declared the Stodart Brothers the rightful owners of the property and issued an order barring Muchechetere from interfering with the equipment’s removal.
“The applicant (Stodart Brothers (Pvt) Ltd) be and is hereby declared the rightful owner of the property at Buryhill Estate and Chikomo Chemhunga Farm namely: two steel structure sheds, five metal grain silos, weighbridge, maize grading plant and steam boiler,” Justice Mangota ruled.
“The respondent’s (Muchechetere and one Mrs Chanetsa) action of barring applicant representative from accessing and removing the property from Buryhill Estate and Chikomo Chemhunga Farm be and is hereby declared unlawful.
“Applicant and/or its agents, assignees, workers or representatives’ be and are hereby declared to have unhindered access and entitled to remove the aforementioned property in paragraph 1 above . . . without any interference from respondents, their spouses, workers, agents . . .,” he said.
According to Stodart, who is also the director of the firm, the estate was acquired by the government under the land reform programme in 2001 and in 2004 he was informed that the government was going to pay compensation for the equipment on the farm.
Stodart further said between 2004 and 2015, he had been engaging the Ministry of Lands in respect of compensation and in September 2015 he received a letter from the Secretary for Lands and Rural Resettlement granting him permission to remove the equipment.
However, Stodart said his efforts to remove the equipment had been hampered by Muchechetere, who also was claiming ownership of the same property.
On May 17 this year Stodart said Muchechetere allegedly dismantled one of the grain silos which he wanted to take away with him, but was later stopped by the police after Stodart reported the matter.