THE Constitutional Court on Thursday stopped President Robert Mugabe from declaring Mwenezi East constituency vacant following the expulsion of the legislator Kudakwashe Bhasikiti from Zanu PF.
This comes amid reports the former Masvingo provincial minister and politburo members aligned to the former vice-president Joice Mujuru risk losing their farms.
The full Constitutional Court bench agreed with Bhasikiti that Mugabe should be stopped from declaring the seat vacant until the High Court finalises his expulsion case.
This week Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa told the Mwenezi lands office to parcel it out, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
According to Zanu PF Masvingo Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) officials, the decision to take-over the farm in Mwenezi was made at a PCC meeting in Masvingo last Friday because “Bhasikiti has been disrespecting the president”.
“It was announced that the Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa would meet with the district lands officers to explain how Bhasikiti’s farm will be redistributed,” a source said.
“On Tuesday Mahofa had a meeting with the Mwenezi district lands officers where she gave them the go- ahead for the farm to be redistributed to deserving members of the party. The 345 hectare-farm will be resized into small pieces so that each family gets about 10 hectares.”
The party sources said a group of youths would be deployed to the farm to force Bhasikiti out.
Bhasikiti, however, rubbished the threats saying no one except Mugabe had the power to take over his farm which he said was productive.
“My farm is very productive and it is only the President who has the prerogative to take the farm which was distributed under the land reform programme,” Bhasikiti said.
“What Mahofa is doing is cheap politicking and that will not get her anywhere because I am a holder of an offer letter of the property. Unless and until the offer letter is terminated she can go ahead politicking because the farm belongs to me,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mahofa were futile as she cut off her phone as soon as the Independent identified itself. Calls made thereafter were answered by her aide, who said “shefu (the boss) is busy.”
Bhasikiti was ejected from parliament following his expulsion from Zanu PF and has since filed an urgent chamber Constitutional Court (Con-Court) application seeking to bar Mugabe from calling for a by-election in his constituency.
The Con-Court application comes after he filed two other High Court applications in which he sought to bar House of Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda from declaring his seat vacant, and another wherein he challenged his expulsion from Zanu PF. Recently controversial Manicaland provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene said Zanu PF was planning to repossess a commercial farm allocated to former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa after he denounced the land reform programme describing it as retrogressive.
She said it was not proper for Mutasa to continue occupying his farm following his public attacks on government’s land redistribution exercise and party leadership.
“We are auditing the farms. Certainly farms like that of Didymus Mutasa we have to take them. He said we made a mistake to take white people’s land so he made a mistake to take the farm,” Chimene said.