Home » Judicial » CIO Spy Farm Row Back in Court

MALEME RANCH owner has been summoned to appear at the Gwanda magistrates courts this Friday for illegally occupying gazetted land despite Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko last week reversing the takeover of the farm by CIO spy.

The order has raised fears that the dispute between Peter Cunningham, the owner of the farm, and Rodney Mashingaidze maybe far from over.

Villagers successfully protested the seizure of the ranch which is home to Ebenezer Agricultural Training Center and Shalom campsite leading to VP Mphoko visiting the farm and ordering Mashaingaidze out of the property.

Mphoko’s order led to massive celebrations by locals who had argued that Cunningham was contributing towards community development through the Ebenezer project.

However, in an about turn of events, Cunningham has been summoned to appear at the Gwanda magistrate courts to answer to charges of illegally occupying the farm.

According to a schedule of laid-down cases, Timothy Sean White of Esigodini, whose farm has been allocated to former Matabeleland South CIO boss Zenzo Ntuliki, will also be in court this week.

“If they do not turn up the magistrate will issue a warrant of arrest and unless the minister of lands (Douglas Mombeshora) withdraws the case, the state will proceed to trial,” said a legal expert who requested anonymity.

Mashaingaidze last week maintained Maleme belonged to him after it was offered to him by the ministry of lands adding he is in possession of an offer letter for the disputed piece of land.

Mombeshora last week announced he would be sending his team to the province to investigate land allocations amid reports the provincial affairs minister, Abedinico Ncube, was abusing his authority to distribute land to his cronies and family members.

Chiefs in Matobo, led by Chief Masuku, accused Ncube of failing to address the Maleme issue before it got out of hand. Ncube reportedly told them he will not listen to people working with whites.

Source : New Zimbabwe