Chinese to build ZANU PF VIP homes on seized land


Scenery at Pangoula

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
07 March 2014

A Chinese developer has been given prime peri-urban land to build luxury homes for top ZANU PF officials on a farm seized from a white commercial farmer.

The exclusive homes will be built on 120 hectares of land set on Pangoula Farm, following a deal signed last year by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Chinese firm Zim Guoji, the South African Mail & Guardian reported Friday.

The farm, Pangoula of Sternblick, was gazetted for forcible takeover from its owners in 2003, according to farmers’ rights group Justice for Agriculture.

A statement posted on the Chinese firm’s website describes the deal as the “Fairytale of Pangoula”.

“Have you ever been to a place that you are indulged in with pleasure so much as to forget to leave? Pangoula, located in east of Harare, used to be part of Sternblick Farm owned by a white farmer and was changed into state land last year.”

The statement continues: “Pangoula is 15 minutes drive from the CBD of Harare. It is adjacent to an emerging high-end residential community in Harare, the Shawasha Hills, which is composed of hundreds of villas and mansions with gorgeous landscapes.

“The place accommodates the majority of political VIPs and wealthy merchants. Pangoula Farm whose terrain features hills of gentle slopes has two manmade reservoirs and a creek that can be used for landscaping.

“The farm retains several residences of the former owner as well as some agricultural buildings such as a crocodile farm, a chicken farm and green houses.”

Dispossessed white farmers were never compensated for either the land or improvements on it, contrary to ZANU PF claims.

The secret deal did not go to tender, and ZANU PF officials would not reveal to the Mail&Guardian the value of the contract or who the beneficiaries will be.

“There is no indication of how much Guoji will get for the deal, or how much the VIPs will have to pay for the properties. But estate agents say prime plots of land in the adjacent Shawasha Hills, one of Harare’s wealthiest enclaves, sell for more than $100,000,” the M&G report said.

The development will be in phases starting mid-year, and already senior officials have reportedly expressed strong interest for stands. The upmarket development will boast its own kindergarten, hospital, church, and a shopping centre.

Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni told SW Radio Africa said he needed time to check his facts before he can comment.

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said the housing deal signed by Minister Chombo “favoured the rich and the powerful.”

“There are more people in need of basic housing in the high density areas. The Harare City Council has a long housing list of people who have never owned a house of their own and those who are lodgers.”

Shumba said the presence of the Chinese in the country has so far been to prop up the rich, to the exclusion of the deserving poor.

“We would appreciate the Chinese’s involvement in development projects such as building flats for the poor. We have people living in deplorable and crowded conditions in Chizhanje and Majubheki in Mbare or Geneva in Highfields where women, men and children share one room.”

Shumba said the priorities for the government should be delivering affordable homes to the majority of the city dwellers rather than spending resources on luxury dwellings for its top officials, who already owned multiple properties.

Responding to suggestions that the Zim Guoji deal did not go through the normal tender process, Shumba said this was the norm where the Chinese are involved.

“We have realised that with the Chinese there are a lot of secret deals that are kept out of the eyes of interested parties such as civil society groups and the media.

“The exclusion of these key groups that facilitates the continued systematic stripping of the country’s assets and tying them to the Chinese through land and mineral deals as we have seen over the years,” Shumba added.

This is the second major deal signed between Chombo and Guoji. According to the Mail&Guardian, last year Chombo gave the company another contract to build 10,000 low-cost homes at an unnamed location in Harare.

A statement on the Chinese company’s website mentions a joint venture involving Retreat Farm in the south of Harare, west of the Seke Road.

ZANU PF’s chaotic and often violent land seizures started in 1999, targeting white commercial farmers. The few who remained on the land continue to face threats and uncertainty, amid fresh farm seizures.

18 Responsesto “Chinese to build ZANU PF VIP homes on seized land”

  1. So farm land which was productive will now be used for building luxury accomodation in a country where basic accomodation is more or less in dire need of revamping. Secondly land classed as grade (A)agricultural land will be wasted to produce buildings that a few will benifit from.As the chinese will be building you know the building material will be imported , the labour will be imported and the the money spent will be exported, nothing so far of benifit to our local population as normal. Have Zanu pf not learnt yet that part of indiginisation is also the practice of encouraging local business to compete. I do not blame the chinese for their business ideas i think it is great that they support their population by exporting their workers and contruction matierials this makes good sense , how ever in a country like ours i find it difficult to understand why the goverment can not source local talent, and use land more suited for contruction and leave the farm land for the purpose it was meant for..

  2. Snowman says:

    I know this property and the owners. The land is urban rather than agricultural and has not yet been acquired by the government. It is a functioning commercial property employing around 100 people. A notice of intention to acquire has been published. The owner now has the right to object to the acquisition. If it goes ahead, the government will have to pay compensation (for land and developments because it is urban land). See section 71 of new constitution.

    • Which owners the original farmers or the newly replaced land owners , this property was a funtioning farm turning productive farmland into as you term it (commercial property employing around 100) does not make sense why would anybody take over a fully functioning farm for idiginisation purposes to put local farmers on and then turn it into a(commercial property employing around 100) what a waste of good farming infrastructure of which was allready set up.!!

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Tell the absent owner of that land who is in the United States or is it Germany that we are eyeing for that piece of land. He will not get a penny from us when we take it. Nobody gets money for the land and not even for improvements made on any piece of land that was acquired illegally. In any case, they benefited unlawfully from carrying illegal farming operations on this piece of land. Any land we need for whatever cause is taken without any compensation. It is this straightforward and nobody should delude himself/herself that compensation will be paid by this government. Once the land is taken, all doors for appeal will be closed. Ok?

  3. Mike hondo says:

    More and bigger houses for the muppets party ZANU pf to put their even bigger 4×4 vehicles using prime farmland to construct a housing community with the Chinese Really stinks of favoritism and corruption while ordinary Zimbabweans are stuggling to find work all the best deals go to foreigners . It is time for Zimbabweans to rise up and get rid of this government

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Oh yes, Mike Hondo, nice houses you never saw during your time as the son in law for Ian Smith, the butcher of my people. These houses will have a flavour of Chinese architecture you have never seen before mate. We love the Chinese like chocolate mate. They are the best and are now the global economic giants. They have the capital to make it happen in Zimbabwe.

      • Just reading your statement above makes any person of a sane and rational mind Cringe !!, what is wrong with you and zanu for not promoting home grown talent , You would rather give away jobs to the chinese then promote local talent not only that they would source local materials for the majority of the the build , the goverment would benifit by the revenue created in taxes and money used on wages and locally sourced building matierals , not only that this would provide an income to locals but jobs something your goverment has failed to provide .We have factorys shutting down because nobody has purchased their goods ,that little could be the difference between surving and closing shop.

        You seriously need to reevaluate your ways of promoting zimbabwe and its people. Like i have said in my post above i admire the chinese way of doing bussiness , by importing their own people to do the jobs and sourcing chinese matierals , a brilliant strategy to look after they interests in China. In employment and import and the export industry from their own country and they get to pay taxes in china . Perhaps you need to check your teeth after all Chimbwido Warvet (to much chocolate may not be good for you as it contains to much sugar!) Remember Self promotion can only begin at home if we promote ourselves!!

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          Well said mate but what is wrong in expressing my admiration of the Chinese people? Of course, the Chinese should transfer technology to Zimbabwe and should not be allowed to bring in labour that can be sourced locally but only that Zimbabwe can not provide. If the Chinese are bringing in manual labour and building materials that is available in the country, it should not be their problem but that of the people of Zimbabwe. The Chinese people are supposed to protect their business interests and so should be the Zimbabwean people. There is no free lunch and not even a free cup of tea. It is business as usual.
          To protect their economic interests, Zimbabweans should set conditionalities that have to be observed by Chinese businessmen while operating in our country. It is as simple as that mate. It is common sense that has nothing to do with the political affiliation of the Warvet or yourself.

          • Mike hondo says:

            Perhaps if you love the Chinese so much you should just give them the whole country one time and be done , at least they would then be able to pick all the rubbish up from the streets and all us Zimbabweans are too lazy to pick up themselves I tell you there is just rubbish everywhere and the roads are a national dis Grace. I will also tell you that I nearly got arrested today for drinking a beer in my friends car today by two policemen , near Kensington Harare but due to my very charming personality I avoided arrest and did not offer a bribe either.. I have seen these very good houses you speak of when I was in glen Lorne the other night one even had a tennis court on the roof can you imagine such opulence in a country that doesn’t have its own money. Aagh this place is suffering at the moment with a very serious cash flow problem at the moment , and what can be the answer to that?

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            The only answer I have is for you to be arrested in retrospect for public nuisance. I am working on that and you should not delude yourself that you are out of the woods mate. Drinking beer in public view is a criminal offence in this country Mike Hondo.
            Oh no no my gosh Aah, now you are jealousy and envious of my friends who have been fortunate enough to make money in this country. Remember you and father in law built mansions in the Borrowdale area, Mount Pleasant, Highlands, Marlborough, Eastlea, Greendale etc etc that were exclusively built for the whites only in a country that was not their own. Do you still remember that Mike? And now you are crying like a baby and envious of these guys. What a hypocrite!!!!

          • Mike hondo says:

            Yes I am crying because the white people signed an agreement to let the country be run by the people of Zimbabwe not fit the land to handed to the china mafia who will eventually gain the power to sideline Zimbabweans and once that happens they will just get rid of the local population can you not see that the route your party is taking is going to eventually lead to recolonisation not by Europeans but by the men from the east . Please learn. From history old man

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            ‘…can’t you see that the route your party is taking is going to eventually lead to recolonisation not by Europeans but by the men from the east…’ You are suggesting here that it is better to be recolonised by Europeans than by the Chinese? My answer is any recolonisation from any foreign power is just as bad as British colonial domination and control of Zimbabwe in the 19th century.

            The people of Zimbabwe still have vivid memories of the diabolical and brutal British colonial domination and control of my country since the Berlin Conference of 1884 that decided which European power was to own and control my country. It was a disaster as the indigenous people of this country did not benefit from it for close to two centuries when we were under illegal British colonial rule. From the ruthless experience we endured at the hands of our colonial masters, we can never allow the Chinese to colonise us again in this 21st century.

          • Nothing wrong expressing your admiration of the Chinese people . however as normal in your rush to put across your ideas you always tend to make the pieces you post one sided lets take this one for example ,(quote)
            (1) {If the Chinese are bringing in manual labour and building materials that is available in the country, it should not be their problem but that of the people of Zimbabwe. }

            (a) Are you not a citizen of zimbabwe and should you not also be bringing that onto the forum as well as praising them , should you not also show some concern that your goverment is depriving our citizen of jobs and not promoting employment in a time of lack of employment.

            (2) {The Chinese people are supposed to protect their business interests and so should be the Zimbabwean people.}
            (b) Are you not zimbabwean why are you not protecting our business interests as well
            (3){Of course, the Chinese should transfer technology to Zimbabwe and should not be allowed to bring in labour that can be sourced locally
            {c} Have you seen what happens when the chinese open and start up a buissiness , they bring in all the labour , infrastructure is imported and they source from china , they never tend to let locals get full control of a venture , they have a few to make it look like it has a bit of color in it but that is all ,window decorations.Take TAZARA for example in zambia , it was built by the chinese and still maintained by them with technicians and management and matierials sourced from china still today , they train few zambians to replace them so in the end they have achieved full dependency , As a bussiness strategy this is brilliant thinking for the chinese but not for the zambians .If only they goverment had thought about the rammifications in the long term.

Leave a Reply