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    Saturday, 29 October 2016

    Businessman Khan in land feud with villagers

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    MASVINGO – Prominent Masvingo businessman and farmer Osman Habib Khan is in a bitter land ownership wrangle with seven families who were resettled at his Southwill Farm, about 25km along Masvingo – Mutare Road.
    Some villagers who visited The Mirror last week have accused Khan of burning down homesteads of the families to ash, killing livestock and destroying crops.
    Khan could not be reached for comment as he was out of the country. The villagers led by Barnabas Bernard and John Betserai said they have a High Court order barring Khan from removing the villagers as they are legally settled. They accused Khan of ignoring that order.

    A letter in possession of The Mirror from Masvingo rural ward 32 councillor Simbarashe Munyenyiwa which is copied to the District Administrator's office also alleges that Khan has created a hostile environment with villagers.

    Southwill farm is known for its orange production. The High Court order which is in the hands of The Mirror and was granted on October 4, 2016 says that being the case then, the plaintiff is not in a position to aviet the depentants as he has no legal claim to the said land.
    Moyo alleged that the destruction of homes by Khan has left seven families without a roof above their heads.
    He said surrounding village heads are raising complaints gainst Khan.
    The feud dates back to 2012 when Khan dragged the villagers to court as illegal settlers; the court passed a judgment that the seven families were illegal settlers and had to be moved. The judgment was however reversed in a ruling by the High Court under case number EV 27/14 which granted the seven families the ownership to the disputed land.

    "Our livelihood has been disrupted and we are appealing to the judicial system to see to it that the High Court judgment is upheld as this is in breach of court ruling," said Moyo.

    Legal experts who spoke to The Mirror however condemned the move by Khan sighting contempt of court as he disobeyed a direct High Court order.
    "This move is a direct contempt of court, Khan should be brought to justice for disobeying the High Court ruling," said lawyer Joseph Maweni.local news
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