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High Court Judge Dismissed Patrick Cheza Appeal

High Court Judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, has dismissed Patrick Cheza’s appeal to halt his eviction from S/D 43 Mahara Farm, Ward 16 Mvuma, despite Cheza’s substantial investments totaling US$200,000 on the property.

Cheza argued before Justice Mawadze in Masvingo that he was the sole target among 61 farmers settled in the same scheme. He claimed that his eviction, allegedly to make way for members of the Joint Operations Command, was unjust.

Cheza sought an order to prevent the Minister of Lands Agriculture and Fisheries from evicting him, citing lawful settlement, infrastructure development including greenhouses, boreholes, and a solar power system, as well as significant livestock and employment of 50 workers reliant on the farm.

Represented by Nyasha Maguranyanga of Mutendi, Mudisi, and Shumba Legal Practitioners, Cheza’s case drew attention from analysts who suggested that his singled-out eviction by the Minister hinted at potential political manipulation of land laws by Zanu PF to target adversaries.

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Cheza’s past arrest and detention during the August 2023 elections added to concerns regarding political motivations.

Under Zimbabwe’s Constitution, all agricultural land is vested in the State and thus the President, granting authority to withdraw land from any individual, irrespective of land ownership documentation.

This lack of land tenure security extends across communal, resettlement, and commercial farms, with no guarantees even for those who fought for land rights during Zimbabwe’s liberation war. The situation underscores the vulnerability of land rights to political agendas, potentially resulting in harassment, victimization, and favoritism, particularly in areas near urban centers.

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