Esidakeni farm saga: Kershelmar directors granted bail
The three directors of Kershelmar Farms (Private) Limited, Charles Moyo, Siphosami Malunga and Zephaniah Dhlamini were on Monday granted ZWL$10 000 bail each after they appeared in court on allegations of unlawful occupation of Esidakeni Farm in Nyamandlovu.
Moyo was arrested in Bulawayo last week Wednesday by police from Nyamandlovu while Dhlamini was next to be taken in.
These three partners have since 2020 been shrugging off attempts from the State to grab the farm after it gazetted Esidakeni Farm.
One of the beneficiaries was Mswelangubo farm which is owned by Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, Dr Obert Mpofu, and his wife, Sikhanyisiwe.
Despite a Supreme Court ruling ordering Dr Mpofu to vacate Esidakeni last month, Moyo, Malunga and Dhlamini still cannot access the farm.
In an interview with CITE, the trio’s lawyer Josphat Tshuma, a partner at Webb, Low and Barry, confirmed that his clients appeared in court in Tsholotsho and were granted bail.
“The three of them appeared in court today (Monday). Malunga came down (from his base in South Africa) and we drove to Tsholotsho this morning where he joined the others,” he said.
Tshuma noted that the State was ill-prepared yet prosecutors wanted his clients to be remanded in custody, as it was opposed to bail.
“One, the State agreed that they were not ready for trial but they were opposed to bail. They wanted them to be remanded in custody but we were able to demonstrate that the reason they were not ready for trial is that the charges laid on the accused were defective,” said the lawyer.
The lawyer also stated that the State was using the wrong law in charging his clients.
“Secondly, they had not taken into account the rate of execution that had been issued at the High Court pursuant to two judgements of the High Court, which said that the accused persons – Malunga, Dhlamini and Moyo as directors of Kershelmar, must be restored into the possession of the farm so therefore their occupation is not unlawful,” Tshuma.
He added that his clients were not currently in occupation of Esidakeni since the people who were ordered to move out by the High Court were still there.
“And their guards are still at the gate, so they are preventing our clients from going in. So, our argument was the accused persons should not be the accused persons. They should not have been arrested by the police,” Tshuma said.
Instead, what the police should have done, said Tshuma, was to carry out the judgement directed by the High Court.
“The police must assist the Sheriff to restore the possession of the farm to Kershelmar and its directors (Malunga, Dhlamini and Moyo) until the main matter is heard and finalised,” Tshuma said.
“So of course, we were not seeking a ruling on that from the magistrate but we were pointing out that there is nothing the accused persons are running away from because they believe they have a strong defence to the allegations. In the end, bail was granted and they paid ZWL$10 000 each,” the lawyer said.
Tshuma noted that the magistrate handling the case said his clients cannot move into Esidakeni Farm until the eviction by the Deputy Sheriff’s Office has been done.
“The magistrate said it is the Sheriff who should restore them into the farm as per the High Court order, otherwise until that happens, they (Malunga, Dhlamini and Moyo) must maintain peace and be outside the farm,” he said.
Their next court hearing will be on September 6, 2022.