A nephew to the late former President, Robert Mugabe, Robert Zhuwawo has petitioned the High Court challenging the decision by the Ministry of Lands to reverse his offer letter for a 232 hectares farming plot in Zvimba.
According to court papers, Zhuwawo said it was unlawful for the Lands minister to chase him out of the plot since he has been utilising it well and claims the land was offered to him under the Land reform and resettlement programme back in 2004.
Zhuwawo also said the Lands minister, Perrance Shiri, who is cited as the respondent reversed the offer letter in April last year after levelling false allegations against him.
“On the 9th of December 2004, I was offered subdivision 1 of Cockington in Zvimba District, in the province of Mashonaland West which is approximately 232.81 hectares in extend.
“The offer was made in terms of the Agricultural Land Resettlement Act Chapter 20:01. I accepted the offer and a clear contractual agreement between the Ministry of Lands Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement and myself,” said Zhuwawo.
Zhuwawo said on April 26 last year he was issued with a notice of intention to withdraw the offer letter on allegations that he had abandoned the plot since 2011 to which he responded but there was no response on his opposing application.
Zhuwawo said he was shocked to receive another letter on October 16 notifying him of the immediate termination of his contract.
“Despite all the challenges of vandalism of electrical infrastructural and theft, I have been farming to the best of my farms potential in the circumstances. Withdrawing my letter on the basis of unsubstantiated and spurious allegations without investigations the veracity of such allegations is a gross substantive
“I am therefore not in breach of any of the terms and conditions attached to the offer. Since I was allocated the plot. I have been farming tobacco, cereal crops, sunflower and poultry,” he said.
Zhuwao also said only the President had the powers to revoke offer letters hence the need for the court to deal with the matter.
“The letter does not bear official stamp of the ministry to verify its authenticity. Further the letter does not contain any reasons for the decision. It is simply a cancellation ‘out of a proverbial blue’. It is my considered opinion that this letter is bogus and, in any event, unenforceable as it is ultra vires to the enabling legislation and it offends the principles of natural justice.
“The respondent has no jurisdiction to withdraw my offer letter because the Enabling Act (Agricultural Land Resettlement Act Chapter 20:01) does not grant him the powers to do so. It is only the President who can cancel or withdraw offer letters, not the minister,” reads his application.
The matter is still pending.