SC 25-13 - ZIMBABWE TOBACCO ASSOCIATION v MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL SETTLEMENT

ZIMBABWE TOBACCO ASSOCIATION

v

MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT

 

 

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

ZIYAMBI JA, GARWE JA & OMERJEE AJA

HARARE, SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 & JUNE 17, 2013

 

L Uriri, for the appellant

N Mutsonziwa, for the respondents

 

ZIYAMBI JA:   This an appeal against an order of the Administrative Court confirming the acquisition of the Remainder of the Farm Odar measuring six hundred and five comma eight zero nine two (605, 8092)hectares, situate in the district of Salisbury (hereinafter referred to as (“the property”). The grounds of appeal as they appear in the notice of appeal are as follows:

GROUNDS OF APPEAL

  1. The learned President erred in not finding that the proceedings before the court were invalid for want of compliance with the peremptory requirements of section 5 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act [Cap. 20:10].
  1. The court a quo erred in not finding that failure to serve the preliminary notice of intention to acquire the land on the owner of the land or the holder of any right or interest therein was fatal and invalidated the entire acquisition process.
  1. For the stronger reason, the learned president erred in holding that there was no requirement for personal service on the holder of title or interest in the land.
  2. The court a quo erred in holding that failure to serve the Surveyor General, the Registrar of Deeds, the Director of Physical Planning and the appropriate local authority within a reasonably time of the publication of the preliminary notice was not fatal because service on these functionaries was merely for their information.
  1. The learned president erred in not finding that the failure to give the peremptory statutory period within which to object was not fatal.
  1. The court a quo erred in refusing to consider the further preliminary point that the respondent had approached the court with dirty hands and ought not to be heard on the basis that the respondent had not been given adequate prior notice to respond to it or prepare adequately for it, when the factual premise was an intrinsic part of the pleadings and in any event the respondent did respond to the same. In any event, any prejudice would have been remedied by an appropriate order.
  2. The learned president erred in holding that the acquisition was reasonably necessary in the public interest.
  1. The learned President erred in not holding that the acquisition did not comply with s 16 of the Constitution to the extent that the same has not been undertaken against prompt and adequate compensation and to the further extent that there has not been a tender of compensation.

At the hearing of the appeal the respondent, in terms of an earlier notice to do so, raised certain objections in limine to the grounds of appeal.

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