The lawyer representing the three Kershelmar Farms (Private) Limited directors has moved to try and halt the trial in which the latter are being accused of illegally occupying Esidakeni Farm in Nyamandlovu.
The three partners Siphosami Malunga, Charles Moyo and Zephaniah Dhlamini who are denying the charges, are being represented by Josphat Tshuma of Webb Low and Barry.
The trial is being heard before Matabeleland North provincial magistrate Victor Mpofu in Tsholotsho.
The trial commenced in early November after Magistrate Mpofu dismissed an application to except to the charges filed by Tshuma.
Tshuma argued that the charges for illegally occupying Esidakeni farm in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North, are not in line with the amended Constitution of Zimbabwe hence his clients should not be prosecuted for them.
In an interview with CITE, Tshuma said after having his initial application to except dismissed by Magistrate Mpofu, they filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court to stay the matter.
He said the trial had been postponed to December 5 for continuation but the High Court will determine how the case will proceed.
“We made an application to the High Court, they said our matter will be heard on December 13. We will first wait to hear what the Court will decide before we proceed with this trial. The outcome at the High Court will determine whether the trial stays or continues,” he said.
The State, in this matter, is being led by Deputy Prosecutor-General, Michael Reza, and so far they are leading evidence from their first witness- Matabeleland North Provincial Lands Officer, Sunson Dodzi.
The wrangle for the farm has been ongoing since 2020 when Lands Minister Anxious Masuka, through a state gazette, announced that the farm had been compulsorily acquired under section 72(2) of the constitution.
The trio have been fighting through the courts to keep the beneficiaries including Zanu PF secretary of administration Dr Obert Mpofu and his wife Sphathisiwe, a Nust lecturer Dumisani Madzivanyathi off the farm.
In July, the trio won a Supreme Court case which ordered Mpofu to vacate Esidakeni.
However, they were later arrested on allegations of unlawful occupation of the farm and are currently out on bail.