Cape Town – The Zimbabwean Constitutional Court has reportedly upheld the eviction of a disabled white commercial farmer who sought compensation after his farm was seized under the country’s controversial land reform programme.
According to the Daily News, William Stander, a double amputee, was accused of contravening the Gazetted Lands Act after he failed to vacate his farm.
Stander had sought to stop his eviction and expropriation of his farm by government, claiming that the seizure of his farm was an infringement of the constitutional rights of people living with disability.
He filed a Constitutional Court application seeking compensation or return of his farm.
No legal merit
But according to a New Zimbabwe.com report the Constitutional Court dismissed Stander’s application, saying his plea had no legal merit.
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said no rights had been breached by the notice to compulsorily acquire Strander's farm.
The prosecutor general's office said the law had been followed and no human rights had been trashed, adding that Stander was supposed to vacate the farm since it had been taken over by the government.
The reports come a week after President Robert Mugabe vowed that whites will never be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe, saying the few remaining white farmers must go.
Mugabe said Zimbabwe was no country for whites as far as land was concerned.
Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.
At the time, Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.
At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms.
The land seizures were often violent, claiming the lives of several white farmers during clashes with veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation struggle.
Critics of the reforms have blamed the programme for low production on the farms as the majority of the beneficiaries lacked the means and skills to work the land.