AN INSIZA farmer has taken former Sports minister Andrew Langa and a white farmer to court, over the alleged illegal occupation of a farm he was allocated by the government under the land reform programme.
by SILAS NKALA
South African-based Zenzele Sibanda filed an urgent Chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court on February 24 citing Peter J Buckle, Peter A Buckle and Zanu PF Insiza North MP as first to third respondents respectively seeking for a spoliation order.
In his founding affidavit, Sibanda said he was seeking an order compelling the respondents or those claiming occupation of Blinkborne farm in Insiza to stop interfering with his farming.
“In the year 2012, I was allocated the whole of Blinkborne farm measuring 820 hectares through the government land reform programme,” Sibanda submitted.
“During the course of the same year, first respondent (Peter J Buckle) acting on behalf of his son (Peter A Buckle) with the assistance of third respondent (Langa) mobilized war veterans, police and community members to evict me from the farm. I was illegally removed from the farm through force as the first respondent insisted that the farm belonged to his son.”
He added: “After my unlawful eviction, I approached the district lands committee to register my grievances on the behaviour and treatment by the respondents. I sought to verify whether my entitlement to the farm had been changed. I was advised that there has been no change.”
Sibanda said on March 2, 2015 the district lands committee chairperson wrote a letter directed to the second respondent advising him that Blinkborne farm had been repossessed and given to him.
He said his offer letter was presented to Buckle senior, who accepted it on his son’s behalf. However, Sibanda said Buckle still insisted on occupying the farm.
Sibanda further claimed that in January this year, he occupied the farm and brought in his herd of cattle and he has been in peaceful occupation of the land until February 15 when senior Buckle allegedly came and threatened to chase away his employees.
He said Buckle also threatened to confiscate his cattle, claiming to have been authorised to evict him by Langa.
“The first respondent has already put his cattle in my farm,” Sibanda said. “I am at risk of losing the farm as a result of underutilisation since respondents create chaos hindering progress.”
Sibanda asked the court to stop the respondents from invading his farm and order the removal of Buckle’s cattle.
The respondents are yet to file opposing papers to the application.