Con-Court upholds white farmer eviction

HARARE - The Constitutional Court has dismissed an application filed by a disabled Mwenezi white farmer, seeking to stop his eviction and the expropriation of his farm by government.

William Stander, a double amputee, was accused of contravening the Gazetted Lands Act after failing to vacate his farm.

He filed a Constitutional Court application seeking compensation or return of his farm, Lot 18 of Nuanetsi Ranch.

Stander claimed the seizure of his farm was an infringement of constitutional rights of people living with disabilities.

He said the take-over violates a section of the Constitution that guarantees the right to shelter to the disabled.

Prosecutor Fortunate Kachidza said the application lacked merit and that Stander was supposed to vacate the farm, since it had been taken over by government.

“There are no fundamental rights that have been breached by applicant being evicted from this farm,” Kachidza said.

She said no right of life or dignity had been infringed, as alleged by Stander in his application, adding that if he wanted compensation he was supposed to follow the proper legal procedures as provided for by the law.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku dismissed the application saying it lacks merit.

He said  reasons would follow in due course.

In the application, Stander claimed that he was being deprived of his only home and source of livelihood.

“Seeking to deprive such a disabled person of his only source of livelihood clearly infringes on the constitution rights guarantees provided under section 83 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” reads part of the application.

“One of the questions is whether seeking accused’s eviction without paying him compensation for improvements amounts to unlawful deprivation of property in terms of section 72 (3) (a) and (b) of the current Constitution and the entitlement to compensation for improvements in section 295 (3) and (4).”

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