Farmer fails to crop as Mugabe aide remains defiant

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farmEVICTED Figtree farmer David Connolly has failed to crop this farming season as one of President Robert Mugabe’s top aides, Ray Ndhlukula, has stayed put at his farm, barring him from setting foot at the property and instead planting maize at the farm in continued defiance of a High Court order barring him from evicting the farmer.

Connolly is embroiled in a fierce legal battle with Ndhlukula, who has been trying to move into Centenary Farm since June, despite a High Court order barring him from interfering with operations at the property.

Last week, Connolly confirmed that he had failed to plant at his farm, where Ndhlukula has planted a maize crop.

“I haven’t managed to plant anything,” he said.

“He has planted maize and the crop is about two inches (about five centimetres) tall.

“I am going to meet my lawyer in the afternoon to hear about the progress on the contempt of court case against him and will give an update.”

Ndhlukula in December moved his cattle onto the farm despite the court interdict.

He is facing contempt of court charges and the matter is still pending before the High Court, although it has since been struck off the roll and is most likely to be heard this term of the 2015 legal year.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva is supposed to hear the matter.

Ndhlukula reportedly tried to take over a farm belonging to David’s brother, Michael’s Benovullum Farm, in the same area as punishment for Connolly’s “lack of respect” in getting a court order against him.

The legal wrangle between Connolly and Ndhlukula has sucked in Mugabe’s nephew, a top cop, Deputy Police Commissioner Innocent Matibiri.

Connolly’s property is one of the most productive in Matabeleland South.

Ndhlukula’s workers started camping at Connolly’s farm in August after the eviction of farm workers from their dwellings.

The contempt of court case against Ndhlukula was then filed at the High Court.

In September, Connolly was chased from the farm and his workers were stopped from growing crops by Ndhlukula’s workers before the farm was barricaded.

Ndhlukula reportedly has two other farms in Matabeleland South, identified as Wilfred Hope Farm in Marula and Vlakfontein – otherwise known as Subdivision 2 of Marula Block.

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