Chief invades Arda estate

THE High Court has ordered a Manicaland traditional leader, Chief David Mutingwende, to vacate an Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) estate in Rusitu, Chimanimani.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Mutingwende, who is also the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Mining, Agriculture, Residential and Tourism Trust (ZMARTT) is alleged to have invaded Bonny Eagle Farm of Rusitu Estate on October 26 this year.

On November 5, 2018 Arda and Agriliance (Pvt) Ltd jointly filed an urgent chamber application seeking a spoliation order as well as an interdict against Mutingwende from his actions.

On November 19, 2018 High Court judge Justice Amie Tsanga issued a provisional order against Mutingwende.

“That pending the hearing of the matter, the applicants (Arda and Agriliance) are granted the following relief; The respondent (Mutingwende) be and is hereby ordered to restore the access of applicants and the employees and assignees of the applicants to Bonny Eagle Farm of Rusitu Estate and not to interfere or hinder their access or operation in respect of the Macadamia plantation,” Justice Tsanga ordered.

“The respondent be and is hereby ordered to cease all farming operations on Bonny Eagle Farm of Rusitu Estate, including but not limited to ceasing all land preparation or ploughing together with ceasing to plant any crop in the land already ploughed.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police be and are hereby ordered to effect the terms of this interim order and to interdict the respondent from carrying out further farming operations or prohibiting access to the macadamia plantation.”

In his founding affidavit, Arda chief executive officer, Willard Mbona, accused Mutingwende of becoming an authority unto himself and taking the law into his hands.

“The brief facts giving rise to the current and urgent need for the relief sought are a clear demonstration of the respondent’s recourse to self-help and mala fides in seeking to unilaterally take for himself land belonging to a parastatal and statutory enacted entity,” Mbona said.

“Applicants are being denied access to that portion of the estate by the respondent, who is acting wholly under his own steam and without any kind of authority in taking the law into his own hands. The fact that the respondent has sought to illicitly acquire the land immediately abducting the valuable macadamia plantation is of grave concern that he may well damage or destroy such trees or alternatively convert same to his own use.”

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