A former Zimbabwean commercial farming enterprise has sued Joseph Chinotimba, a war veteran and self-styled leader of the invasion of white-owned farms, for US$842 000 for losses arising from the forcible seizure of a farm in 2015.
In submissions made to the High Court of Zimbabwe in Harare late last week, farming company H De Foiard Brown (Pvt) Limited said Chinotimba and his son Edwin should compensate for the loss of land and associated property losses.
Chinotimba, famed for leading the invasion of white-owned farms by war veterans since 2002, is now a Zanu PF Member of Parliament, a farmer and the government appointed national “Ambassador of Happiness”.
He produces and exports macadamia nuts from the contested plot, identified as Sub-Division A of Hofstede Farm in Chipinge. The company said prior to invasion and seizure by the Chinotimbas in February 2015, the 16 400 hectare plot was a highly productive enterprise.
“On 28 January 2015, the first and second respondents (Joseph and Edwin Chinotimba), forcibly removed the plaintiff and employees from the property when they had no right to do so. As a result of wrongful eviction, the plaintiff has suffered damages in the sum of US$842 000, being the prospective income which the plaintiff would have earned were it not for wrongful eviction by the respondents.
“The plaintiff’s claims for damage against the defendants jointly and severally, one paying the other to absolved in the sum of US$842 000 together with interest is calculated at 5% per annum from the date of service of the summons to the date of full payment plus the cost of the (law)suit,” the company submitted.
Chinotimba and his son have not yet responded to the lawsuit.