|Farmer wants hero exhumed|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 12:16|
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court ReporterA MAZOWE white farmer has approached the High Court seeking the exhumation of the remains of liberation war hero Captain Eleck Matotoba who was buried recently at Ndiri Farm.
Capt Matotoba was embroiled in a dispute over the farm with Mr Louis Greyling.
He died early this month in a road accident along the Mazowe-Harare road and was buried at the farm after the intervention of the Mashonaland Central provincial leadership.
Through his lawyer, Mr Edmore Jori of Wintertons law firm, Mr Greyling has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking exhumation of the remains and eviction of the hero’s widow and family.
The widow, Ms Pamela Matotoba, Mashonaland Central Provincial Governor Martin Dinha, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo, and Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Minister Herbert Murerwa are listed as respondents.
Governor Dinha said Government was considering giving the offer letter to the Matotoba family, but the judge deferred the proceedings to next week to allow the Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement to clarify the issue of the correct beneficiary of the land.
“It was also noted that the land belongs to Government and the matter was postponed to next Wednesday to allow the sole land acquiring authority to file its papers and advise which of the two parties was the rightful beneficiary,” said Ms Gasa.
The authorities, he said, in allowing him to continue operating on the farm, took into consideration his co-operation with the Government in implementing equitable redistribution of land.
Mr Greyling said he was in peaceful possession of the piece of land until June 10 when Mrs Matotoba, with the assistance of Governor Dinha and Mazowe district administrator Mrs Nyakudya buried Capt Matotoba at the farm.
“In this matter I beg the court to grant a spoliation order restoring the status quo ante and exhumation of the body of first respondent’s husband from its grave pending determination of the parties’ competing claims by the court,” he said.
Governor Dinha, in his opposing affidavit, said the Matotoba family had authority to occupy the farm and that the offer letter had already been prepared.
“The allocation and recommendation was accepted by fifth respondent (Minister of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement).
Governor Dinha said facts on the ground indicated that the Greyling family vacated the farm in April this year after winding up their operations to give way to the Matotoba family.
Exhumation, according to Governor Dinha, could only be done through an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“Applicant is ill-advised to seek this relief,” said Governor Dinha.