Manzou villagers look to interdict govt

HARARE - Manzou Farm villagers have filed another urgent court application seeking to interdict the government from bringing more wildlife to the farm, arguing animals should not take precedence over people.

In the court application, the residents, who are represented by Tonderai Bhatasara and Gift Mtisi, cited Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, Environment minister Savior Kasukuwere, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Trustees of the Board of the National Museums and Monuments as respondents.

Aspinas Makufa, Costa Chirimba, Leonard Mukoore and the Arnolds Farm Residents Association are protesting against the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for carting 100 Zebras onto the farm. They have already filed an urgent chamber application seeking an order to remove the zebras within 48 hours.

The villagers have in the past, filed successful applications, barring the police from effecting their eviction from the farm.

The families are being evicted in a move aimed at paving way for First Lady Grace Mugabe’s private wildlife sanctuary.

In an affidavit, Makufa said their children were now afraid of going to school because of the animals, adding that the beasts were destroying their crops.

“When we talked to the officials of 4th respondent (Parks and Wildlife Management Authority), they indicated that they are about to bring elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos onto Arnolds Farm,” Makufa said.

“It is clear that the conduct of the 3rd (Environment minister Savior Kasukuwere) and 4rd respondents of bringing in wild animals onto our residential area is meant to cause our eviction.

“This is a ploy to circumvent existing court orders against our eviction.”

He said it was clear that they could not stay with wild animals, adding that the respondents’ actions were “reprehensible”.

Makufa said the respondents’ actions were contemptuous.

“The specification of the area as a protected cultural landscape was done when we were settled at Arnolds Farm,” they argued.

“It has no effect of divesting us of occupiers’ rights. Otherwise such declaration is unconstitutional.

“Assuming that the area is to be used as a national park, there is need for such declaration with specific boundaries.

“And before bringing animals, respondents would have properly settled us somewhere else or if we are to stay there, properly fenced off the area to be occupied by the animals.

“This has not been done. Surely, animals which have no rights in the Constitution cannot take precedence over us.”

The matter is still to be set down for a hearing.

Meanwhile, High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu will on January 30, hear the residents’ application, in which they filed contempt of court charges against police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi.


Comments (2)

Chizivayi anokudai ne asingakudeyi. animals are more beautiful than people so I don't need your black ugly korekore faces around me??

Ndimimamakavhota - 28 January 2015

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