Rusape Magistrate court has ruled that six farmers whose houses and properties were destroyed at Lesbury Farm in 2017 during an eviction to pave way for Victory Tabernacle Church leader, Bishop Trevor Manhanga have to be compensated.
Separate court rulings ordered that each farmer shall be paid between $1 000 and $5 000.
One of the farmworkers, Emily Phiri, alleged that she sustained head and back injuries after Inspector Nyakuedzwa of Rusape rural in the company of unknown assailants who were wearing work suits assaulted her with batons.
During the evictions, the farm owner, Robert Smart was pushed out before he was reinstated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
The takeover of the farm by Manhanga triggered a legal battle in 2017 with one of the residents, Peter Tandi, approaching the High Court challenging the takeover, adding that the government’s move to acquire the farm for resettlement was in violation of the Tandi people’s traditional and cultural rights.
The land reform programme left many unresolved issues and the land audit which was meant to address those questions has been viewed by some as a failure already.
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