Zimbabwe: ZRP Support Unit, Shamva Farmer Tussle for Land

16 February 2021

ZRP Support Unit Shamva is embroiled in a land dispute with a farmer, one Cyril Gunda who claims the police unlawfully invaded his farm.

The matter has spilled into the courts in which Gunda is seeking an order barring the police from disturbing his peace and to declare him as rightful owner of Grahamshade Farm-Stateland in Shamva.

Gunda has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking an order stopping ZRP at Maienzi Farm, Shamva District from interfering with his rights.

He claims the police have started production at his farm.

Cited as respondents are Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga, Officer in Charge at ZRP Maienzi Farm and the Lands minister.

In his founding affidavit, Gunda says he was offered lease for the farm by the Lands minister on or around November 17 last year.

He then mobilised a team of builders to construct fowl runs and other necessary infrastructure at the property so he could commence some operations.

"Sometime after my team arrived at the farm, a Sergeant Tangai from ZRP Support Unit at the next property, Maienzi Farm, approached my team armed with a gun and told them to vacate the premises forthwith. He advised my team that he had been ordered by his superiors to tell us to vacate the farm," he said.

Gunda says he then called the lands officer for Shamva district and a meeting was arranged with ZRP Support Unit officials at Maienzi Farm.

He said they agreed but the officer who came for the meeting, one Superintendent Tawengwa showed up late and drunk.

"He was visibly drunk and was very disrespectful and unruly," he said.

The senior officer was told that the applicant's land was not part of Maienzi Farm, but he advised Gunda to use the western side of the farm because the ZRP Support Unit wanted to use the eastern side of the property.

He said parties agreed that he uses the western part while the issue is being resolved.

Said Gunda, "However, a week later, I received a call from a Superintendent Madungwe advising me that Superintendent Tawengwa was his subordinate and the arrangement that I had arrived at with Tawengwa was not approved by his superiors. Consequently, I was to completely move out of the farm forthwith."

Gunda said too officials at the Lands ministry advised him to stay as he was the lawful owner, but police were not respecting this directive.

He submitted that police told him they will continue production until he vacated the property.

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