The High Court has set down February 23 as the date on which it would hear the matter involving nearly 70 villagers in the Tshayile area of Bubi, Matabeleland North province who are involved in a boundary dispute with Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Led by Vusa Ncube, the villagers filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Mphoko and the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora as first and second respondents respectively.
They are seeking an order blocking the Vice President from extending his farm’s boundary into their land at Shilloh Farm, adjacent to Mphoko’s Mzohluzo Farm.
The villagers sought court intervention last month after Mphoko’s farm manager informed them of the impending evictions. Justice Nokuthula Moyo, the only female judge here, will preside over the matter.
In papers filed by lawyer Josphat Tshuma of Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners, the villagers are accusing the Vice President of straying into their territory.
They said despite peacefully co-existing with Mphoko for the past 16 years, he had become unfriendly and has since started fencing off a portion of their grazing land.
By yesterday Mphoko and Mombeshora were yet to respond
to the villagers’ court application after being served with summons on Tuesday this week.
Investigations by the Financial Gazette indicate that the respondents were served their papers late because the villagers struggled to raise the US$82 that was required to have the papers served to the respondents.