White farmer (85) evicted

White farmer, 85, evicted for Zanu PF MP
NewZimbabwe.com by: Midlands Correspondent
21 June 2016

A Gweru magistrate has ruled that a white farmer aged 85 should vacate her piece of land by Friday this week to pave way for a Zanu PF Member of Parliament.

Stamatoula Raft, who owned Clifton Farm in Mberengwa was also fined US$150 or three months in jail by Gweru provincial magistrate, Pathekile Msipa for violating a section of the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act.

The farm was allocated to Zanu PF Mberengwa North legislator, Tafanana Zhou, under the government's land resettlement programme.

Last year government served Raft with an eviction notice in respect of a piece land measuring 208 hectares that she occupied at Clifton Farm and ordered her to wind up her operations by February 17 this year.

Raft however, remained on the farm, claiming that she had got assurance from the district lands office in Mberengwa and former Midlands Governor Cephas Msipa that she could (stay) on the piece of the land since it was unproductive.

But magistrate Msipa said the land was compulsorily acquired in terms of the constitution and that Raft had no lawfully right to continue occupying it since she had no offer letter, permit or lease of agreement from government.

The elderly farmer was fined Raft US$150 or 30 days in jail if she fails to pay the penalty. In addition, a three-month imprisonment sentence was suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

The court further ordered Raft to vacate the farm by June 24 this year.

Prosecutors said that on October 22, 2015, Raft was served with a notice to vacate Clifton Farm by the minister of lands and resettlement.

She was ordered to wind up operations and vacate the farm by February 17 this year.

Court heard that ruling party legislator, Zhou was issued with an offer letter entitling him to take over the property, but a defiant Raft continued to occupy the farm without lawful authority.


Published On: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 8:09 PM GMT
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