Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement, Air Marshall (Retired) Perrance Shiri came to the aid of Jeffrey Howard Sommer, a German national who was facing eviction proceedings. Sommer who owns the 80 hectares farm, Chiredzi Wildlife Investments, had been locked in a long-standing dispute with Gilbert Nyasha who argued that he had been allocated the land by the government.
However, Shiri told High Court judge Justice Amy Tsanga that the land had been originally allocated to Sommers and that it was protected by a Bilateral agreement. As a result, Justice Tsanga dismissed Nyasha’s application for eviction saying that Sommers was the legitimate owner of the land.
Justice Tsanga said,
The second respondent, being the minister responsible for land allocations, averred that the applicant (Nyasha) was offered an offer letter when another beneficiary had already been allocated the same farm.
Furthermore, he averred that the applicant had already been issued with a notice of intention to withdraw the said offer letter. Significantly, he emphasised that the applicant cannot be the holder of a valid offer letter under these circumstances and specifically suggested that the proposed solution is to grant him an alternative piece of land. He equally highlighted the fact that the first respondent has invested heavily on the land and is in the business of crocodile farming.
…It cannot be for the courts to simply dismiss or ignore the executive’s policy and directives in protecting certain lands from acquisition. The applicant has no basis for seeking the eviction of the current occupier as the first respondent is not unlawfully on the land. I, therefore, find application to lack merit.
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