A SAFARI operator in Matabeleland North has taken government to court for allegedly interfering with its operations in breach of a lease agreement on game, bird viewing, foot patrol and assorted photographic services.
BY SILAS NKALA
Landela Safari Adventures Ltd filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court on March 3 citing local government minister, July Moyo as the defendant.
“Plaintiff’s claims against the defendant are for an order declaring as valid and binding the lease agreement over Masuwe State Land Ranch entered by and between the plaintiff and the defendant on February 17 1991 under L2065 for conducting game, bird viewing foot patrol and assorted photographic purposes and those lease agreements conducted on January 31, 2001, October 7, 1999 for 25 years up to January 31, 2025 renewable,” the summons read in part.
“An order declaring that the plaintiffs currently area for game, bird viewing, foot patrol and photographic purposes as covered by lease agreement conducted by and between the plaintiff and defendant as set out.”
The company also applied for an order interdicting Moyo from interfering with its operations at the site.
It also prayed for an order declaring as null and void contents of the ministry’s letter dated March 15, 2018 seeking to take away parts of the rights over the fenced area from it.
The firm said it entered into renewable 25-year lease agreements over Masuwe State Land Ranch in Victoria Falls for conducting of game, bird viewing, foot patrol and assorted photographic purposes.
“The plaintiff has pursuant to the agreement as lease and following identification of areas, provision of maps and several meetings fenced off the area, invested at game at high cost, employed staff and deployed resources at the Masuwe Ranch,” the firm’s declaration read.
“In defiance of the lease and the meetings between plaintiff’s representatives and defendants’ representatives, the defendant‘s secretary has written a letter dated March 15, 2018 seeking to cancel the lease and for compelling the plaintiff to pull down part of the fence at Masuwe Ranch.
”The defendant’s actions are unlawful and unfounded. The plaintiff seeks a declaration order to enforce the lease and party agreement in terms of the draft order.”
Moyo is yet to respond to the summons.