AFMA Church Locked In Water Dispute With Commercial Farmer

The Apostolic Faith Mission of Africa (AFMA) has gone to the High Court to force a commercial farmer to restore its access to water that flows through a pipeline connected to a nearby dam.

The church, whose headquarters is in Lobengula Extension in Bulawayo, owns a piece of land in Mangwe District in Matabeleland South, adjacent to a farm owned by a commercial farmer, Garry Rosenfels.

Rosenfels had two farms adjacent to each other and one of the farms was acquired by the Government and handed over to AFMA in 2009.

The church is accusing the former owner of Darnaway Farm, Rosenfels, of blocking it from accessing water from a nearby dam and damaging the water infrastructure.

Through its lawyers Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans Legal Practitioners, the church filed an urgent chamber application for a spoliation order at the Bulawayo High Court citing Rosenfels, his company Mangwe Paprika Growers Co-operative and the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Anxious Masuka as respondents.

AFMA wants an order directing Rosenfels and Mangwe Paprika Growers Co-operative and all those acting through them to restore its access to water, which flows through a pipeline connected to the dam.

The church also wants the two respondents to return the pipes and fertiliser dissolver machines, among other farming equipment.

In his founding affidavit, the church representative Busani Dube said since 2009 they have been enjoying unlimited access to the water from the dam through the main pipe.

He said Rosenfels last month blocked the pipeline and prevented the flow of water into their farm.

Dube said when they tried to approach Rosenfels at his farm, they were met with violence and resistance with three gunshots being fired in the process. No one was injured.

AFMA said the proceeds from the farming activities are used by the church to fund and run orphanages and support widows and vulnerable groups.

Meanwhile, Mangwe Paprika Growers Co-operative recently filed summons at the same court under case number HC1239/21 seeking an eviction order against the church from the disputed farm.

More: Chronicle

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