SC 19-13 - PORTLAND HOLDINGS LTD v MINISTER OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

PORTLAND HOLDINGS LTD

v

MINISTER OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE

 

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

ZIYAMBI JA, GOWORA JA & OMERJEE AJA

HARARE, OCTOBER 15, 2012 & JUNE 3, 2013

 

P C Paul, for the appellant

N Mutsonziwa, for the respondent

 

ZIYAMBI JA:  This is an appeal from a decision of the Administrative Court in terms of s 7 of the Land Acquisition Act (“the Act”) confirming an acquisition by the respondent of the appellant’s farm for urban development.

The grounds of appeal as amended at the hearing are as follows:

  1. The court erred in failing to find that the s 5 notice and s 8 order were both null and void and that in the circumstances no confirmation of the acquisition was competent.
  2. The learned Judge erred in holding that the appellant was not opposing the application on the merits. 

The history of the matter is as follows.  On 16 July 2010, the Minister of lands and Rural Resettlement, duly authorized by the President of Zimbabwe to be the Acquiring Authority in terms of s 2(a) of the Land Acquisition Act [Cap. 20:10] (“the Act”), gazetted a preliminary notice of the Government’s intention to acquire certain property known as ‘Subdivision E’ of Arlington Estate in the district of Salisbury and measuring 530, 2555 hectares (“the Land”).  The Land is registered in the name of the appellant.

In terms of s 5 of the Act the appellant lodged a written objection to the acquisition.  On 11 November 2011 an acquisition order in terms of s 8 was served on the appellant.  The respondent, as it is required to do in the event of an objection to the acquisition, applied to the Administrative Court for confirmation of the acquisition.

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