THE land row between President Robert Mugabe’s top aide, Ray Ndhlukula and Bulilima farmer, David Connolly has taken another twist, with Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora filing for the eviction of the latter’s company, JC Conolly and Sons (Pvt) Ltd, from the disputed property.
Ndhlukula, who is the deputy chief secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, has been locked in a long-running legal wrangle over ownership of Subdivision A of the Centenary Farm with the Conollys, before the High Court recently ordered the farmer to vacate the farm.
In his application filed at the Bulawayo High Court on September 9, Mombeshora said he was authorised by the President to grab the land in terms of Section 2 (a) of the Lands Acquisition Act Chapter 20:10.
“This is an application for the eviction of the respondent from Subdivision A of Centenary in Bulilima District measuring 1304, 5441 hectares in extent. Subdivision A of Centenary was gazetted for acquisition by the State on January 31, 2003 under General Notice 37 of 2003,” he said.
Mombeshora said the farm was subsequently acquired by the State in 2005 by virtue of the Constitutional Amendment No 17 of 2005.
“Following the acquisition of the farm, by the State, the respondent still has its property on the farm and has not removed its property from the farm despite the various times it has been advised to remove the same,” reads the affidavit.
“Sometime in 2015, the respondent filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court, wherein it sought a court interdict against the applicant and one RC Ndhlukula, but in HB114/16, Justice Musakwa discharged the provincial order, which had given the respondent rights of occupation of the said farm.”
Mombeshora said should Conolly and his company fail to vacate, as per the order, the sheriff of the High Court would move in to enforce the eviction within seven days of the granting of the order.
Conolly’s company is yet to respond to the application.-AMH