HomeNewsZanu PF activists booted out

Zanu PF activists booted out

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THE BULAWAYO High Court on Friday ordered Zanu PF activists led by Dan Ncube and Tafadzwa Magovanyika to vacate the city council-owned Hyde Park Estates which they invaded last month.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Ncube and Magovanyika are co-ordinating the fresh wave of farm invasions around Bulawayo and their first port of call was the council-owned Mazwi Nature Reserve within the Hyde Park Estates near Old Pumula.

The invaders had defied orders from the Zanu PF provincial leadership to leave the property and there were reports that government vehicles were used in the illegal occupation.

Council’s application was filed before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo and Ncube and Magovanyika were cited as the first and second respondents respectively. On Friday, Justice Moyo ruled in favour of council and ordered that the two and their group be evicted.

“Pending the determination of this matter, it is ordered that the respondents and all those claiming title through them be and are hereby interdicted from settling or camping in the Hyde Park Estate in Bulawayo,” Justice Moyo ruled.

“It is ordered that the respondents and all those claiming title through them be and are hereby evicted from Hyde Park Estate.”

Council was empowered to destroy structures built by the new settlers after Ncube and Magovanyika parcelled out land to scores of Bulawayo residents. The local authority in its application indicated that the settlers occupied the land without its authority and council had neither leased nor sold the land to them.

Council — represented by Shepherd Chamunorwa of Calderwood, Bryce Henry and Partners — accused the illegal settlers of trespassing and destroying vegetation. The local authority said Ncube and Magovanyika unlawfully allocated pieces of land at the council-owned estate also known as Hyde Park Game Sanctuary.

“It has come to the attention of Bulawayo City Council that the respondents have been allocating and continue to allocate pieces of land from Hyde Park Estate, giving settlers authority to occupy the land,” Chamunorwa submitted.

He indicated that the property belonged to council and in terms of council’s operative master plan, the land was zoned for agricultural purposes.

“City of Kings, a subsidiary of the local authority, uses this area as a game sanctuary and for a tourist business venture, providing a camping site for boy scouts, churches and other clients,” submitted Chamunorwa.

“Further, Bulawayo Municipal Commercial Undertakings, T/A Ingwebu Breweries, currently has 143 cattle grazing inside the land.

“The applicant is concerned that having illegal settlers at this farm, who are also clearing vegetation, would not only lead to an environmental hazard, but this also poses a high risk to the cattle and wildlife as the illegal settlers are destroying the feeding areas and the cattle may go missing.”

He said the respondents had neither right nor title to the property and they were trespassing.

Council then sought a final order “directing the immediate eviction of the respondents and all those claiming title through them of the land”.

It also sought for permission to “destroy any improvements on the land made by the respondents and all the illegal settlers claiming title through them which was granted by the court”.

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