Zimbabwe farmer Martin Grobler evicted weeks after compensation deal

A commercial farmer has been evicted from his land in Zimbabwe six weeks after the government announced a “historic” deal with dispossessed white landowners.

Martin Grobler, 63, and his wife Debbie were given hours to vacate their home by the new owner, an official from the lands ministry, who arrived with a sheriff, a court order and a lorry full of police. The fate of the couple’s 120 employees, planted fields and 250 head of cattle were thrown into doubt by the eviction which came as a “total shock”, Mr Grobler said.

WHITE farmer Martin Grobler was on Friday evicted from a farm in Ruwa which has been the subject of court battles after it was gazettedn over 17 years ago, and government has said it is investigating the invasion.

Sources say a senior official in the agriculture ministry was allocated Protea farm and evicted Mr. Grobler after many years trying to occupy the farm properly. According to the farm owner, an official from the agriculture ministry, Ivy Rupindi and one Chuma arrived at the farm’s residence Friday morning accompanied by a truck-load of police officers and a sheriff of the court.

However, in response to the disruptions, the information ministry said the government was establishing facts at the farm.

“We have been made aware of a video depicting an eviction of a farmer and his family. Government is trying to establish the facts behind this matter. What is known so far is that there is a legacy legal issue between the parties and the matter is being dealt with by the courts,” the ministry said in a statement.

The disturbances at Protea Farm come when the government last month announced it would pay US$3.5 billion to whose land was expropriated by the state during the chaotic land reform programme. Meanwhile, Grobler says he is pondering what to do with his property left outside his home and where to move his 250 head of cattle. The claimant Ivy Rupindi says she is the rightful owner and gave Grobler 24hrs to leave the farm.

Story - Times UK and ZimVoices

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