Mugabe's top aide clings to grabbed farm

HARARE - The on-going harassment of commercial farmer David Connolly, owner of Centenary Farm in Figtree, is impacting severely on his displaced workers and on agricultural production.

Since June last year, Connolly has been embroiled in a fierce legal battle with  the deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Ray Ndhlukula, who has been trying to take over his Centenary Farm.

This is despite the fact that Ndhlukula has two other farms in Matabeleland South at Wilfred Hope Farm in Marula and Vlakfontein known as Subdivision 2 of Marula Block.

Ndhlukula claims to have sold the properties.

In August last year, Ndhlukula allegedly sent his thugs to evict Connolly’s workers and their families from the farm, rendering them destitute, despite a High Court order blocking their evictions.

Connolly was then barred from returning to his farm and irrigating or harvesting the

300 000 onions he still had in the ground. Ironically, Ndhlukula was in charge of the government’s ZimAsset statement of intent for food and food security, announced in December 2013.

In March this year, a Bulawayo High Court judge sentenced Ndhlukula to 90 days in prison for defying a court order barring him from evicting Connolly and his workers. The sentence was suspended on condition that Ndhlukula complied fully with the order within 14 days.

Despite a contempt of court case against Ndhlukula filed at the High Court, Connolly was allegedly forced off his farm in September 2014.

In a new twist of the ownership wrangle, Connolly was himself arrested by police and charged with illegally occupying the farm, despite the fact that the contempt ruling has been handed down against Ndhlukula.

Connolly appeared in the Gwanda Magistrates’ Court on June 30, 2015 as instructed, only to be told that the provincial prosecutor had referred the matter to the prosecutor general in Harare.

The case was remanded to July 9.

When Connolly appeared in the magistrates’ court on that date, the senior magistrate eventually recused himself with the excuse that he knew the Connollys, even though Connolly says he has never met him.

A junior magistrate was assigned to the case. The prosecutor failed to arrive and so another prosecutor had also to be found.

After further delays, Connolly’s lawyer proceeded to deliver his arguments and the two court orders from the High Court were filed, together with Ndhlukula’s appeal to the Supreme Court.

Connolly’s lawyer then applied for a stay until such time as the contempt matter had been dealt with in the Supreme Court.

Although the case had already been remanded on three previous occasions, the junior magistrate said the application for the stay was beyond the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ court.

Connolly says no production of any sort is currently taking place, despite the fact that there is more than enough water in the dam.

“It seems that the desired outcome of the fast track land nationalisation programme — which is apparently the cessation of all production and the destruction of formal employment on commercial farms across the country — has been achieved at Centenary farm,” Conolly said.


Comments (10)

Ray-Ndhlukula you sold two ill gotten farms and want Conolly why isn't he human like you. Where is your shame of course Mugabe delights in you for destroying productive farms. God will repay you. David Connolly be of good cheer I am praying for you so they will know that there is a God who loves you

Dee - 24 July 2015

Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus that you for restoration of Centenary farm to its rightful owner David Connolly and full compensation for his loss by Ray-Ndhlukula. Blessed Father thank you for hearing me always and the compensation of all white farmers robbed of their farms plus full restitution in Jesus Name. Amen.

Dee - 24 July 2015

Hapana chisingaperi, zvekutora ma farms evanhu vari productive muchinotambisa ma resources ndozvamunogona chete asi zvichapera chete, vana hitler vakanetsa pasi rose vakaenda nekupi?

misty - 24 July 2015

God is the answer

dollarman - 24 July 2015

murikuchemera kuti varungu vadzoke imi muchitora minda yavo munombofungai nepai shuwa.zanu yawora pasi nezvimbwa sungata

jacknizer - 25 July 2015

Are you born a thug to belong to Zanu or do you become one soon after you join.Shame on you Ray. I grew up with your siblings in Bourberfields and we reaaly thought you and the Nkalas had a value system, ubuntu. What a disgrace. But mark my words, what goes around, comes around.Descent people will have the last laugh

zenzo - 25 July 2015

Hameno kuti tinonyarira kupi with these people in government today where their madness seems knows no limit

carson macate - 26 July 2015

Don't worry Ray this madness will soon come to an end and your property will be returned to you.

Ticha - 28 July 2015

vamwe vanhu ma devils chaiwo. So embrassing . Nxa , hapana government yakadai. shame

bongz - 28 July 2015

We need a literary expert to put for us in words the meaning of the events as described here. We have the aggressor who was convicted, found guilty and sentenced by one of the country's legal courts. Instead, the villain goes on to defy a court order, a certain number of guys luckily get a day's job of physically removing workers from their place of employment, therefore disrupting a carefully planned course of production. Impunity of the highest order, evidenced further by the willingness of the police to assist the thug. Judicial officials however have the decency to avoid the circus perpetuated by a rich government official who admits to have become enriched by a sale of two farms earlier. Shameless greed.

Mr Dete - 19 August 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.