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Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeCourtsBona Mugabe Battles Takes Govt To Court Over Mazowe Farm Reduction

Bona Mugabe Battles Takes Govt To Court Over Mazowe Farm Reduction

Daughter to the late former president Robert Mugabe, Bona and her husband Simbarashe Mutsahuni have approached the High Court challenging the government move to downsize their 1 800 hectare Mazowe farm.

The application was filed after the late Lands and Agriculture minister Perrence Shiri published the Rural Land (Farm Sizes) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No 2) (SI 41 of 2020) in February, 2020, to reduce sizes for redistribution to other Zimbabweans.

Current Lands Minister Anxious Masuka and Attorney-General Prince Machaya are cited as first and second respondents respectively.

In the application, the couple argues that the SI was unconstitutional as the minister failed to consider important issues that brought about the new law.

In the application, Mutsahuni and Mugabe said, “The applicant has a direct interest in this matter, having been affected by the application of the provisions of SI 41 of 2020″.

They further argue that the SI was arbitrary in the sense that its consequence was that it was applied retrospectively without regard to the nature and extent of investments made by any farmer who historically would have been on the farm.

The amendment was done in terms of section 21 of the Land Commission Act (Chapter 20;29) repealing provisions of the Rural Land (Farm Sizes) Regulations, 1999, published in SI 419 of 1999.

In substance, SI 41 of 2020 sought to alter the sizes of land which can be held under the various natural regions in Zimbabwe.

“Acting in terms of SI 41 of 2020, the minister proceeded to withdraw the aforesaid offer letter with an express intention to reduce the extent of the land which we hold under the offer letter. This was unfair because it is common cause that the new SI came into effect when the old SI 419 of 1999, was in full effect,” Mutsahuni submitted.

“Despite this, it is also common cause that the minister did not adhere to the provisions of these regulations and proceeded to allocate individuals land sizes beyond the prescribed sizes under SI 419 of 1999. Pursuant to the promulgation of SI 41 of 2020, the minister has sought to pursue a rigid adherence to the new farm sizes stated therein.”

He said they were not given any discretion to consider the suitability of the prescribed farm size against the extent of any investments made by farmer affected and the extent of utilisation.

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Journalist based in Harare

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