HARARE - A court case in which a Mazowe couple is accused of criminal trespass and assaulting a cop has confirmed that President Robert Mugabe and his family have interests in Arnold Farm, and are behind the villagers’ eviction from the property.
For over a year, speculation has been rife that the Mugabes were behind the torment the villagers have been subjected to, but the case against Tapiwa Dhaisi, 39, and Sinikiwe Mazivei, 32, has eventually confirmed it.
According to court papers, the complainant in the first count of criminal trespass is James Teta, who resides at Zimbabwe Republic Police, Chikurubi depot.
“On the 7th day of April 2017, the accused persons unlawfully refused a lawful excuse to leave the land when called upon to do so by a lawful occupier at Arnold Farm, which is owned by the first family,” reads part of the court papers.
The State claims that the two acted unlawfully.
It is alleged that the criminal trespass emanate from an order that was given by the police officers for the pair to leave their homestead at Arnold Farm.
When Teta and his workmate only identified as constable Tongovona arrived at Dhaisi and Mazivei’s home, they found the two in the company of their children.
The court heard that Dhaisi later attacked the police officers using stones, in facts forming the second count.
“One of the stone hit assistant inspector Teta on the forehead and the other one on the back. Sinikiwe Mazivei joined his husband Tapiwa Dhaisi to resist by throwing stones to assistant inspector Teta and constable Tongovona,” the court heard.
The two, who appeared before a Bindura magistrate yesterday, are represented by Moses Donsa Nkomo from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
The residents in the area have since won a High Court order barring the police from evicting them, after detailing how they have been ruthlessly treated.
The residents claimed the police forced them into their trucks and dumped them some 35-40 kilometres in the bush along the Mvurwi road.
“The villagers are just dumped in the open, without food, water or shelter. Our crops and livestock is left at Arnold Farm, our children are still at the schools they were attending since 2000 when we resettled at the farm and now their education is being disrupted,” the villagers told the court then.
According to the residents, they have been staying at the farm over the past 17 years, before heavily armed police officers and officials from the Lands ministry began demolishing their homes recently without a court order.
The villagers argued that the arbitrary eviction contravened their rights provided for in the Constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy, administrative justice and the right to property.