By Tendai Kamhungira
MAZOWE – The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have been dragged to the High Court for grabbing a farm belonging to a Mazowe white farmer.
In the application, Andreas, Peter and Shaun Livaditakis are the applicants, while ZRP, ZNA, the provincial lands officer and Lands minister Perrance Shiri are cited as the respondents.
According to court papers, the Livaditakis family, who were the owners of Bigbury Farms (Private) Limited bought Goede Hoop Farm from R.a Beatie & Sons together with four other farms Sandown, Jakaals Loop, Oakwoods and Lot 29 Kaba in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central, in 1994.
“When the land reform commenced around the year 2000, the Livaditakis family which included the applicants relinquished Sandown, Jakaals Loop, Oakwoods and Lot 29 Kaba Farms and remained with Goede Hoop Farm commonly known as Goodhope Farm. This was done on the agreement of the government and applicants in particular the third and fourth respondents,” the court heard.
The family said problems started in 2006 when some people came and threatened the family members, chasing them away, stating that all white people must leave Zimbabwe. Andreas said they are Zimbabweans of Greek origin and are into cattle ranching and pig farming under Pama Holdings, adding that their farm is protected under the Bilateral Investments Protection and Promotion Agreement (Bippa).
The Lands minister and the provincial lands officer are said to have intervened in September 2006, giving the family the green light to continue with their farming operations. Problems re-emerged in 2013 when a letter on government letterhead from the Mashonaland Central provincial minister was issued to the propol (officer commanding province) for Mashonaland Central claiming takeover of the farm. The family alerted the Lands minister and the provincial lands officer about the letter. The family further wrote to the propol who did not respond, forcing it to escalate the issue to the then Home Affairs minister, who is now Vice President Kembo Mohadi.
“Sometime in September 2018, the first and second respondents (ZRP and ZNA) stormed the farm and told me that I needed to leave the farm as the farm was now theirs. I showed them proof that I was in lawful occupation but they had none of that. They forcibly entered that farm and started accommodating in my own structures on the farm..” he said.