Not that long ago I was maintaining a list of the court orders that ZANU PF and its various wings had defied with absolute impunity - and sadly I lost that list when my computer was hacked. (The security on this machine has been beefed up something serious now, so I don't envisage a repeat anytime soon.)
It beggared belief that ZANU PF could just brazenly ignore any order issued by one of the highest courts in the land - but then again, if you are batting for Robert Gabriel Mugabe, you become one of the 'untouchables'.
This week, Charles Lock, the soon-to-be ex-owner of Karori Farm in Headlands was granted a court order which was to allow him, "full and unfettered right to remove all and any of the goods, as well as any other move able assets, including his equipment and fittings in the tobacco barns, cattle handling facilities, household and personal effects, from the land" - but, as I prophesised on my main page yesterday, he was not even given access onto the land, let alone to his crops and equipment.
Court Order Defiance Unpunished In Zimbabwe
"Armed soldiers barred me from entering the farm when I went there on Friday after the High Court ruling."
On my main page this morning, I questioned why a senior army officer - a Brigadier no less - should have his own band of armed soldiers at the farm?
They can't be there on official duty, unless, of course, they have been ordered to the farm by the Brigadier himself.
A question which is often discussed is if an officer issues an illegal order to a subordinate and that subordinate carries out that order, who is to culpable? The answer is, of course, the officer - so, even if the soldiers were acting on direct orders from the Brigadier, it is the Brigadier that should face the wrath of the law.
The problem that faces Lock is that his actions will be deemed unpatriotic and the full weight of various wings of ZANU PF will fall very heavily on Lock.
He will not be able to reap his crops. Neither will he be allowed to recover his agricultural equipment, nor his personal property. As a direct result of his going to the law courts to get a court order, the Brigadier will baton down the hatches and prevent any incursion upon 'his' land.
Dare I say it - Lock may find himself under lock and key.
As I wrote yesterday, I understand the land appropriation, but disagree entirely with blatant theft and the threat of violence.
If Lock has spent his money on the crops in the ground, it is his right to reap that crop - and any attempt by the Brigadier to reap what he has not sown should be constituted as theft.
But, in Zimbabwe, possession is nine tenths of the law - and so the Brigadier will be deemed the new 'owner' of the crop, which he will reap and sell, converting the proceeds thereof to his own pocket.
And the land will not be worked for the next season, and within a few months I see the farm being derelict, unused - a skeleton picked dry by the marauding masses, masquerading as 'new' landowners.
And this is not a clever deduction - all I have to do is look at the vast majority of farms that have suffered the same fate.
Courts orders in Zimbabwe mean nothing to Mugabe and ZANU PF.
And defiance of these orders by ZANU PF renegades remains unpunished.
Robb WJ Ellis
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