The Office of the President and Cabinet has issued a statement with regards to the eviction of Mr Gary Bruce Hensman from Gyppslander farm in Mashonaland West Province. We present the OPC’s statement in full below.
THE ALLEGED EVICTION OF MR GARY BRUCE HENSMAN FROM GYPPSLANDER FARM IN MASHONALAND WEST PROVINCE
The attention of the Office of the President and Cabinet has been drawn to the events relating to the eviction of a Zimbabwean farmer, Gary Bruce Hensman from Gyppslander Farm in Mashonaland West Province. The Office of the President and Cabinet has launched an inquiry into this matter and would like to inform the public as follows:
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a) That the eviction of Mr Hensman was the ultimate culmination of a High Court process in which Hensman’s legal practitioners consented to the judgement that consequently led to his eviction from the said farm. The reference for the High Court Order in question is Case Number HC 8798/18. Mr Hensman’s eviction was not a Government-sponsored, racially motivated or land invasion as depicted on social media and in various fora by sections of some Zimbabweans both at home and in the diaspora. The Government’s policy on land allocation is premised on a non-racial and non- partisan basis. The current situation on Zimbabwean’s farms vindicates the Government on this fact.
b) The Office of the President and Cabinet has received reports to the effect that the manner in which Mr Hensman was evicted, though driven by a legitimate High Court Order, was carried out in a manner that went beyond the bounds of lawfulness, with property belonging to Mr Hensman being vandalized and some of it stolen. The Office of the President and Cabinet has referred this issue to the relevant institutions of the State for a thorough investigation. Those found to have perpetrated any offences or contravened any of our statute laws will be subjected to the criminal justice system, and the law will be allowed to take its course. The Government of Zimbabwe does not condone lawlessness, be it on our farms, or anywhere else in the country.
c) The Office of the President and Cabinet has requested the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to institute a corruption investigation into allegations that a Government Official within the Ministry Of Lands, Agriculture. Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement deliberately withheld an Offer Letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary of the same Ministry communicating the decision of the Mashonaland West Provincial Lands Committee recommending the allocation of Gyppslander Farm to Mr Hensman, amongst other acts of corruption related to the issuing of Offer Letters pertaining to a number of farms.
d)The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement has been further directed to resolve the allocation of Gyppslander Farm taking into account the recommendations of the Mashonaland West Provincial Lands Committee of April 2019.