21 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Government Intends to Acquire Whitecliff Farm

Government intends to acquire the remainder of Whitecliff Farm for urban development after its residents were given up to yesterday by the Supreme Court to vacate the land. The land belongs to Mr Edward Pfugari of Eddies Pfugari Properties who successfully argued in court that the residents illegally occupied the land.

The residents were allocated residential stands by the Government a few years ago. Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Herbert Murerwa said in a notice published yesterday that the President intends to acquire compulsorily the remaining nearly 1 065 hectares.

"Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 5 (7) (a) of the Land Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10] that the President intends to acquire compulsorily the land . . . " said Minister Murerwa in the notice.

He said any owner or occupier or any person who has an interest and right in the said land who wishes to object to the proposed compulsory acquisition or wishes to claim compensation may lodge the objection in writing to the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement. The objections should be filed before December 21.

They can be lodged at Makombe Complex in Harare, Government Composite Block in Mutare, Mhlahlandela Government Complex in Bulawayo, M & W Building in Chinhoyi and Founders House in Marondera.

In Gweru, those with objections can lodge them at Exchange Building, while those in Masvingo file them at 19 Hellet Street. Those in Gwanda can lodge their objections at Mtshabezi Building and those in Bindura can visit Ndodahondo Building.

The Supreme Court ruled last week that the disputed land near Kuwadzana Extension belonged to Mr Pfugari.

The court ordered the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development and those occupying the land through it to vacate within five days. The deadline to move was yesterday.

Mr Pfugari unsuccessfully contested the acquisition at the Administrative Court before appealing to the Supreme Court.

Government built at least 300 houses under Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle in the area, while thousands other people were allocated residential stands to build homes on their own.

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