Zimbabwean farmer David Conolly of Figtree in Matabeleland South province says his Centenary Farm was on Wednesday seized by a top presidential aide seeking to take over the property under the country’s land reform program.
Conolly said representatives of Deputy Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ray Ndlukula, asked him to leave the farm after barricading the compound they have been occupying since Monday.
The commercial farmer told VOA Studio 7 he is now making an urgent chamber court application seeking the enforcement of an earlier High Court order compelling Ndlukula not to take over the farm.
Ndlukula, who is said to have been given an offer letter by the government early this year to take over the farm allegedly earmarked for designation in 2003, did not want to spell out his intentions.
Zimbabwe embarked on a land reform programme in 2000, which has seen the displacement of thousands of white commercial workers by black occupants largely said to be linked with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.