Court blocks ‘illegal’ occupation of farm
Publish date: 08 October 2018
Issue Number: 794
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A Zimbabwean court has ordered ‘illegal occupiers’ of a white farmer's property in Goromonzi, to ‘vacate the land immediately’, saying that the farmer was illegally removed from his property by the Ministry of Lands. The Daily News reports that Hector Ludick, his son (also Hector) and Jennifer Patricia Ludick filed a High Court application seeking to retain ownership of their property. They cited the Ministry and Attorney-General Prince Machaya as respondents. The Ludicks were evicted from their Strathlone farm in September 2017. High Court Judge Isaac Muzenda said the Ludicks were the rightful owners of the farm, as the Ministry had erred in the issuing of an ownership letter to another recipient. Muzenda said that the family had been productively using their farm, and as a result, they should be ‘allowed to continue farming without any disturbance’.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme will have to pay compensation to displaced white farmers, a senior government official has told parliament. A report on the Fin24 site notes that President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to compensate white farmers who lost their land during his predecessors notorious land reform programme. The former farmers are owed about $9bn in compensation for improvements made on the farms before the land reform exercise. Responding to questions in parliament, Lands and Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri said the state would not be burdened with paying compensation, as it was individual resettled farmers that benefited. ‘It makes common sense that instead of labouring the tax payer, the person who is directly benefiting from those improvements contributes towards the compensation of the former farmers,’ Shiri said.