Foreign Affairs deputy minister Edgar Mbwembwe has denied allegations that he recently threatened to shoot and kill a Marondera farmer, Stephen Worswick, over a farm ownership wrangle.
Mbwembwe last week said he was shocked to read a report in the Press and had made attempts to engage Worswick and establish why he had decided to tarnish his image and reputation.
“I am a deputy minister responsible for upholding the rule of law. Why would I resort to such a barbaric act when there are courts to settle disputes, if any? I have never met the so-called Stephen Worswick and I do not even know who this guy is. I did not even visit his farm on the day in question,” he said.
“For him (Worswick) to go about claiming that I threatened to shoot and kill him is not only ridiculous, but very damaging to my character and reputation. I have nothing against this white man and if I am allocated land by the government, just like any other Zimbabwean citizen, would that be my fault?
“I wonder why he is dragging me into this mud, I have reported him for criminal defamation at Borrowdale (Police Station) under RRB 3217266 and I am going to demand that he retracts his claims and apologise.”
On July 7 this year, Worswick filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court under case number 6207/17 seeking a protection order, claiming that Mbwembwe had threatened to shoot and kill him if he resisted to voluntarily abandon his Chipunga Farm within 24 hours.
In his application, Worswick cited Mbwembwe, the chief lands officer, Lands minister Douglas Mombershora, the police officer Commanding Marondera district, and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri as respondents.
Through his lawyers, Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, Worswick said on July 7 this year, Mbwembwe allegedly “hired thugs” and stormed his farm around midday and attempted to evict him without a valid court order.
He claimed that the deputy minister bragged that he was immune to prosecution.