By Lloyd Gumbo
HARARE – Businessman Mr Tawanda Nyambirai has accused ousted former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru and her late husband Retired General Solomon Mujuru of pushing him out of his three farms in Mashonaland East Province.
In papers filed at the High Court seeking to repossess the farms that have since been acquired by some Zanu-PF officials with the blessing of the couple in 2002, Mr Nyambirai claimed that his family and employees were subjected to intimidation and torture at the instigation of the Mujurus.
Mr Nyambirai said he owns the farms — Kopje Alleen, The Beach and Rusfontein — through his companies Naval Phase Farming (Pvt) Ltd and Beach Farms Pvt Ltd.
The First and Second applicants are Naval Phase Farming (Pvt) Ltd and Beach Farms (Pvt) Ltd, while Mr Nyambirai is the Third Applicant.
The Minister of Lands, Land Reform and Rural Resettlement, former Zanu-PF MP for Chikomba Bernard Makokove, suspended former Zanu-PF Mashonaland provincial vice chairperson, Stephen Chiurayi and Mr Malvern Dzvairo are First, Second, Third and Fourth Respondents respectively.
Chiurayi was recently suspended by Zanu-PF for being aligned to the Mujuru faction.
“I acquired these two farms and all the moveable assets thereon through the acquisition of the entire issued capital of Second Applicant under two separate agreements dated 21 September 2000,” avers Mr Nyambirai.
“A copy of the agreement relating to the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Second Applicant is attached hereto.
“The Applicants and I financed the acquisition of these farms from our own resources supplemented by loans that I got from NMB Bank Limited who were my employers at the time. I borrowed Z$10 million from NMB Bank Limited. The bank registered a mortgage bond over the property for the same amount.”
Mr Nyambirai said he was dispossessed of his farms in February 2002 while his brothers and employees were “terrorised, tortured and kidnapped”.
He was granted a provisional order by the High Court on February 10, 2002 to reclaim the land.
“My legal practitioner, Mrs (Beatrice) Mtetwa and I attempted to serve the provisional order on the illegal occupants of the farms. They intimidated us and chased us away. The intimidation continued at the Featherstone Police Station where we had sought assistance,” he said.
Mr Nyambirai said his brothers Emmanuel and Nobert were then kidnapped and subjected to ‘severe torture’.
“After this torture incident, I received a call from the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru with an instruction to meet him at his offices that were then in Milton Park (Harare). I went to meet with him.
“I was subjected to verbal abuse, including false accusations that I was merely fronting for white people. I showed the late Retired General all my papers, including copies of the mortgage bonds.
“However, he still insisted that I should vacate the farms as the occupants of the farms had his blessings to take away farms,” said Mr Nyambirai.
He said Rtd Gen Mujuru directed him to go and meet then Mashonaland East Governor David Karimanzira and his team where they were put in a room that had members of the Central Intelligence Organisation and the police.
“I was subjected to further threats and verbal abuse. I had previously sought the intervention of the late Vice President Joseph Msika. In the meeting, I was ordered never to see the late Vice President Msika over the issue.
“The officials present including the late Honorable David Karimanzira claimed that the late Vice President Msika was a titular Vice President without any power and that all power was vested in the late Retired General Mujuru.
“I was threatened with worse consequences than the kidnappings and torture of my brothers if I did not withdraw the High Court application and stop seeking the intervention of the late Vice President Msika. I succumbed to the pressure and the duress and instructed my lawyers to withdraw the High Court proceedings,” said Mr Nyambirai.
He said Dr Mujuru then filed applications and affidavits to the Administrative Court for the compulsory acquisition of the farms but was to later withdraw the applications midway the hearing.
Mr Nyambirai said the timing of the latest application was influenced by the latest political developments.
“After having been forced to withdraw a High Court application in which the applicants had an enforceable provisional order, the applicants were simply too scared to vindicate their property earlier.
“The applicants have been given courage to bring this application by the position taken by Government against abuse of power allegedly associated with the former Vice President Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru,” said Mr Nyambirai.
Respondents’ opposing affidavits could not be obtained. The Herald