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Supreme Court judgement triggers equipment looting

Augustine Mukaro



A SUPREME Court judgement allowing government to seize farming equipment from farmers whose properties have been expropriated has triggered a farm-equip

ment looting orgy throughout the country.


Reports reaching the Zimbabwe Independent show that on the farms invaded, high-profile politicians are taking advantage of the judgement to force farmers to leave all movable implements.


Another group has started invading garages and workshops that repaired and housed farming equipment from displaced farmers.


In the Karoi area in Mashonaland West, Major General Nicholas Dube who invaded Grand Parade farm forcing the owner out despite the existence of a court order allowing him to stay, is now reportedly seizing his farming equipment.


The 15 soldiers which Dube initially deployed on the farm have now taken over irrigation equipment including centre pivots and a host of other implements. They are threatening to take over dairy cows and the dairy processing plant plus other infrastructure on the farm.


In Masvingo, Chiredzi South MP retired Brig-General Kalisto Gwanetsa, who had given farmer Lyle Engles of Farm 28 14 days to vacate, this week ordered the farmer to leave all his movable equipment behind. Engles, who is in the process of relocating to Mozambique, has challenged the equipment seizure.


Other workshop and storage owners said they had been approached by people with notices to acquire their equipment. They are also offering ridiculous figures as compensation for the equipment.


The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that government was allowed to acquire all farming equipment and machinery belonging to former white commercial farmers whose farms were compulsorily acquired for resettlement.


The ruling was on a constitutional application by a group of farmers challenging the acquisition of their equipment stored at Manica Zimbabwe Ltd.

The judgement was met with criticism from farming organisations whose members are challenging their eviction from farms.

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