TWENTY eight people have been arrested for invading businessman and Zanu PF politician, Phillip Chiyangwa’s Sinoia Citrus Estates near Chinhoyi town.
The alleged invaders have since appeared before magistrate Melody Rwizi facing charges of contravening Section 3(i)(4) of the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act chapter 20:28 of 2006, which pertains to “occupation of gazetted land without lawful authority”.
The presiding magistrate, however, referred the defective docket back to police on Thursday so amendments could be made.
Rwizi instructed police to amend paragraph two of the state outline, which states that Chiyangwa is the complainant when, in actual fact, the complainant should be the ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement mandated with powers to parcel out land.
The magistrate also noted on the return docket: “May you also record a witness statement from Maxwell Muwondori as he is a witness in the matter in his capacity as district lands officer. Phillip Chiyangwa is an informant and not complainant.”
The state case, led by Review Nikisi is that on 18 June 2004, Subdivision 1 of Sinoia Citrus Estates located in Makonde district was gazetted by government under Order 117 of the Government Gazette.
After gazetting of the farm, Chiyangwa was allocated the land and issued with an offer letter, before taking occupation of the said property.
On a date unknown to the prosecutor, but during the period extending 2020 to date, the 28 accused persons occupied the farm without any offer letter, permit or authority from the responsible minister.
The alleged invaders, the state argues, disturbed Chiyangwa’s farming activities prompting him to lodge a police report that led to their arrest, last week.
The accused persons are listed as follows: Life Matukanzvimbo (22), Patson Chimushamhu (26), Jaison Karuvira (20),
Watson Takaedza (40), Danmore Mateyaungwa (27), Innocent Dave (35), and Shingirirai Machipisa (32), Joseph Menyuka (43), Knight Madanyika (49), Clever Phiri (58), and Edwin Maunganidze (56).