By Yeukai Karengezeka
Johanne Masowe eChishanu apostolic sect leader, Ishmael Chokurongerwa, better known as Madzibaba Ishmael, has hauled Government and two other people to the High Court following the invasion of his farm.
Chokurongerwa made the headlines for leading his congregants in a violent assault on members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) after they were asked to disperse from a gathering at his shrine in Harare in May 2014.
He was later arrested by the police in January 2015 after having been a fugitive for almost eight months.
Chokurongerwa was convicted for public violence and jailed five years in April 2015.
The apostolic sect leader, who appears to have served his sentence, is suing Adelaide Hlabi and one G. Mutingwende for invading his land.
He cited the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, which has since been renamed to Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, as the third respondent.
He is seeking relief by way of a declarator, so that he is declared the sole owner of personal rights in Plot 6 of Subdivision of Lily Farm in Zvimba.
In his court application, Chokurongerwa said he acquired the farm during the land resettlement programme, but it has since been invaded by Hlabi and Mutingwende.
“I submit that on the 6th day of May 2013, the ministry offered me land being Subdivision 6 of Lily in Zvimba in the district of Mashonaland West Province measuring 106,25 hectares,” he said in his court application.
“I accepted the offer of the land. I submit that ever since the ministry offered me land in Zvimba under the land reform and resettlement programme, I have undisturbed and peaceful possession of the land to which I hold personal rights.
“The first respondent, Hlabi, has encroached into my plot and has started to evict all my employees from my plot.”
Chokurongerwa wants Hlabi and Mutingwende to pay costs of suit.
“I continue to suffer irreparable prejudice due to the actions of both Hlabi and Mutingwende who decided to take the law into their own hands,” he said. “I submit they have no basis at all to do as they please and continue to unsettle me on my plot as they have done and continue to do.
“I have full rights to the piece of land I occupy and should not therefore be displaced illegally.”
The case is still pending. The Herald