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Zimbabwe police ignore court order to vacate farm

[JURIST] Police in Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive] are refusing to comply with a High Court ruling requiring police officials to vacate Portwe farm in the Matabeleland North province, which was seized by police in March. High Court Judge Francis Bere ruled [ZI report] last week that the police seizure was illegal and issued an order requiring the police to return control of the farm to its owners, along with any materials confiscated from the property. Police, however, have refused to comply with the order and instead on Monday stationed more officers on the farm and responded that the farm was the property of the police precinct. The owners of the farm told reporters that their lawyers were preparing a contempt of court lawsuit against the police. While police have seized white-owned farms previously for reassignment to black Zimbabwean farmers, this is the first time that police officials have laid claim to a farm for themselves.

Police officials have routinely ignored court orders and critics have alleged that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] has given tacit approval to their actions as part of his program of white-owned farm seizures. ZimOnline has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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