Regional court grants Zim white farmer relief to stay put in property

Regional court grants Zim white farmer relief to stay put in property

A white Zimbabwean farmer evicted from his land can remain on the property as he awaits further legal proceedings, a Southern African regional tribunal based in Namibia ruled on Thursday.

Judge Luis Mondlane, president of the Southern African Development Community Tribunal said: “The tribunal grants the application pending determination of the main case (at the Zimbabwe Supreme Court).” The farmer, William Michael Campbell, had sought the court relief for himself, his family and all his employees on his Farm Mount Carmell “from the continued onslaught of invasions and intimidation”, court papers said.
Campbell’s lawyer Adrian de Bourbon said his client was seeking a court interdict to enable him stay on the farm until the ruling from the Supreme Court in Zimbabwe.
No date has been fixed yet for the Supreme Court ruling.
Campbell is currently facing criminal charges in a Zimbabwe district magistrate court for remaining on his farm and could face up to two years in prison, de Bourbon said.
A group of 11 remaining white farmers in Zimbabwe in October filed an appeal seeking a court order to stop their planned evictions.
The move came after a magistrate in Chegutu, north-west of Harare, ruled the group had been abusing the legal process in order to delay their fate.
The Zimbabwean government embarked on a reform programme about eight years ago to acquire millions of hectares of land from whites and redistribute it to blacks.
A group of about 4 500 white farmers owned a third of the country’s land, including 70% of prime farmland before the government launched the programme.
The Sadc tribunal was officially convened in April as part of peer review mechanism within the organisation.
It aims to ensure that the objectives of the Sadc treaty, such as human rights and property rights, are upheld. -CAJ News.

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