The High Court has confirmed the eviction of former Zanu PF deputy youth secretary Lewis Matutu from a Kwekwe farm which he had violently grabbed from Onisimo Zhavairo with the help of over 20 ruling party youths.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The confirmation of the interim order by Justice Pisirayi Kwenda on January 29, 2020 followed the granting of a provisional order in favour of Zhavairo by the same court on December 29, 2019.
This was after Zhavairo had approached the High Court on an urgent basis, seeking protection of the law after the ex-Zanu PF youth leader had invaded his (Zhavairo) farm known as sub-division 7 of Benhunts Kraal, in Kwekwe on December 19, 2019.
According to the court papers, Matutu had taken the position based on an offer letter which apparently had been issued in error by the Lands ministry.
In his judgment delivered on December 29, 2019, Justice Kwenda noted that Matutu’s offer letter had been processed in error.
“It is trite that the system/computer programme used in allocating agricultural land is intelligent in that when one tries to generate an offer letter for land already given to another citizen, an alert pops up. In this case, an error had been made in the description of the land by the provincial allocations committee when first respondent (Matutu) requested that it be allocated to him. The second respondent (Lands ministry) did not realise that the land was already taken.
The offer letter to the first respondent was therefore issued in error,” Justice Kwenda said.
“The interim order granted in this matter be and is hereby confirmed. The first and second respondents must pay costs of suit calculated on a scale as between attorney and client.”
Zhavairo, who claimed to have been on the farm for the past 14 years, told the court that he had been given an offer letter for the land by the government and had been in peaceful possession of the piece of land since November 2005.
“The applicant was in peaceful, undisturbed possession of the above mentioned property. The first respondent on December 19, 2019 illegally invaded the property of the applicant without an offer letter from the second respondent,” he said.
In his founding affidavit, Zhavairo also told the court that when the group of youths invaded the farm, they allegedly slaughtered a pig and four goats which they promptly ate before they started harvesting butternuts and chased away his workers.