Zanu-PF Central Committee member Cde Justin Zvandasara has appeared in court charged with public violence after he allegedly invaded land belonging to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development (Livestock) Paddy Zhanda.
Zvandasara (38) is jointly charged with Obert Mukuti (37) Zvidzayi Kawocha (42) Levison Tekere (32) Tawanda Dzamara (31), Edgar Chakwizira (34) Clive Mashiri (29) and Brian Madzorere (33). Harare magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo remanded the eight to October 12.
The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in April this year, Zvandasara and the seven went to Lot 1 of Caledonia Farm which is jointly owned by Cde Zhanda and Leorie Dutoit.
The group ordered Ben Dimingo and other employees to stop all operations. They ordered Dimingo to close Caledonia Lot 1 butchery and bottle store. Dimingo refused to close the shop and Zvandasara allegedly threatened him with death.
He forced Domingo to remove locks from the butchery gate and confiscated the keys. He used unknown objects to break the workshop doors and stole various items. The court heard that Zvandasara announced to the workers the takeover of the farm.
They also allegedly harvested squash and ginger from the fields. Zvandasara then used his equipment to construct roads on the farm and unlawfully damaged four sheep pens valued $10 000 in the process. It was further alleged that Zvandasara started subdividing the land into residential stands, which he allocated to home seekers.
It is alleged Zvandasara’s conduct negatively affected farm operations and disturbed peace. The total value of prejudice is yet to be established. Zvandasara was in June this year jailed two years over a $4.5 fraud case. He was later acquitted by the High Court.