Freeth says his wife received a call from one of Chimbambira's workers claiming to have seen Chimbambira set the house alight.
"There's no witness like that," Chimbambira said.
He said he wouldn't recognize the SADC tribunal ruling, only the Zimbabwean government.
"We are not in SADC. We are Zimbabwe," he said. "In Zimbabwe we have got laws. Me, I follow what I have been told by my government."
He used to grow potatoes on a 160-acre farm in another part of the country, but has no knowledge of Campbell's crops: mangoes and citrus. His plan for the 3,000-acre farm: plant potatoes.
When I visited Freeth's home in May, I took a stroll with him to the edge of Campbell's farm and saw a tractor reaping mangoes. Chimbambira's men gave chase, shouting threats.
"Come here! I'll shoot you. I'll cut your neck."
In the phone interview, Chimbambira even remembered the clothes I was wearing.
"I can remember," he said. "You are a dangerous woman."
Still clinging to hope
There is no insurance in Zimbabwe, but somehow, Freeth said, they'll raise the money to rebuild the "five-star mud hut" he designed himself, and the linen business that employed 60 local women.
Losing the family dog was wrenching. And he'll miss some of the things the fire took. A library of books. One or two treasured first editions. The family photographs and slides of adventure trips with his best friend. And it hurt that the laptops he put in the car were stolen as the family fought to save what they could.
"But . . . they're just things," he murmured.
His voice trailed off, and he stared numbly ahead. "It's actually much harder having Mike's house burned down than ours, because we can rebuild," he said. "He's too old."
Living in a friend's house in Harare, Mike and Angela Campbell cling to the hope that somehow they'll get their land back. But thinking about what to do now, Mike Campbell's voice quavered a little.
"We're not allowed to go there. And the house is flat, anyway."
Can he rebuild, after all that's happened?
"I don't know, quite honestly," he said. "I'll have to look at it. I just don't know."
For previous stories on the Campbells, go to latimes.com/farmer.