High Court Rules in Favor of Danga Family in Chivhu Farm Dispute

Zimbabwe's High Court rules in favor of Absolom Mugova Danga's children in a 21-year farm ownership dispute, ordering the eviction of Nyashanu Mudyirapo. The court affirms the Danga family's ownership of the Chivhu farm, citing their registered ownership and deed of transfer.

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Bijay Laxmi
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High Court Rules in Favor of Danga Family in Chivhu Farm Dispute

High Court Rules in Favor of Danga Family in Chivhu Farm Dispute

The High Court has ruled in favor of the children of the late Absolom Mugova Danga in a long-standing dispute over the ownership of a farm in Chivhu, Zimbabwe. The court ordered the eviction of Nyashanu Mudyirapo, the executor of Ishmael Mudyirapo's estate, who had been occupying the farm.

Why this matters: This ruling has significant implications for property rights and land ownership in Zimbabwe, particularly in cases where executorship is involved. The outcome of this case may set a precedent for similar disputes, affecting the livelihoods of many farmers and families across the country.

The case, which has been ongoing for 21 years, involves Ranch 1090 Hampshire Estate Wiltshire in Chivhu. The late Vice-President Simon Muzenda was appointed as the executor of Absolom Mugova Danga's estate in 1992, after Danga's death on June 24 of the same year. The farm was subsequently transferred to Danga's children: Simon, Obert, Nyararai, Tinashe, Nharingo, and Muringi.

Ishmael Mudyirapo and his family, who were relatives of the Danga family, occupied the farm. However, the applicants alleged that Ishmael let out part of the farm to third parties without their knowledge. Efforts to remove him from the farm were unsuccessful, leading to the issuance of summons through the High Court to evict Ishmael under case number HC 2991/04.

Ishmael died before the eviction proceedings were finalized, and Nyashanu Mudyirapo was appointed executor of his estate. The applicants argued that Nyashanu had no defense to the application, as the farm is registered in their names, and he did not file objections with the Master of the High Court despite several advertisements in the newspaper for the past 20 years.

In his ruling, High Court judge Justice Neville Wamambo stated, "Clearly, it is the respondent who stalled the movement of this matter. It is certainly not the applicants who were firmly bent on the matter proceeding (sic). I find that the sole point in limine has no merit and is dismissed." The judge also noted that the applicants are the registered owners of the farm, with real rights to the property, and a deed of transfer has already been registered in their favor.

Justice Wamambo dismissed Nyashanu's argument that the applicants had failed to act on the eviction for the past 18 years, citing that the delay was caused by the passing of the late Vice-President and the lack of an appointed executor after his death. The High Court's ruling brings a resolution to the long-standing dispute, affirming the Danga family's ownership of the Chivhu farm and ordering the eviction of the current occupant.

Key Takeaways

  • Zimbabwe's High Court rules in favor of Absolom Mugova Danga's children in a 21-year farm ownership dispute.
  • The court orders the eviction of Nyashanu Mudyirapo, executor of Ishmael Mudyirapo's estate, from the Chivhu farm.
  • The ruling has significant implications for property rights and land ownership in Zimbabwe.
  • The Danga family is the registered owner of the farm, with a deed of transfer in their favor.
  • The High Court's ruling brings a resolution to the long-standing dispute, affirming the Danga family's ownership.