Hundreds evicted in fresh Mazowe farm seizures

Grace Mugabe has been busy extending her land claims in Mazowe close to where hundreds have been left homeless after police eviction

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
18 March 2014

Hundreds of people in the Mazowe district of Mashonaland Central have been left homeless after police evicted them from the Spelenken Farm this weekend, to make way for an unnamed beneficiary.

According to the Standard newspaper, police arrived at the farm as early as 4am on Saturday and by 2pm had loaded up the farm settlers onto police lorries and driven them to unknown destinations.

“Although the identity of the new owner who is set to take over the farm could not be ascertained, it was evident that it was a very important person considering the heavy presence of police and intelligence officers,” the Standard reported.

The farm is not far from where First Lady Grace Mugabe has been busy extending her land claims; land she says is being used to extend an orphanage she started in recent years. She has also planned to build a school on the seized tracts of land.

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central, Martin Dinha, last year promised to allocate more land to the First Lady in the area to expand her projects.

“The land is no longer sufficient to sustain the projects the First Lady has on her sleeves. We are working on the papers to stretch the land so that she can have more land to do her projects. Some people might say ‘The First Lady is greedy, why does she want more land?’, but we are saying it is justified for her to have more land,” Dinha said.

Last October Grace evicted a group of small-scale miners from a piece of land that forms part of Manzou Game Park also in Mazowe. Gushungo holdings, a business empire controlled by the first lady, kicked out 11 small-scale miners operating on 22 hectares of land along the Mazowe river. SW Radio Africa understands that the area is rich in gold deposits.

Then in January this year Grace grabbed more land belonging to Interfresh’s Mazoe Citrus Estate, seizing a further 800 hectares in addition to the 1,600 hectares she grabbed last year from Interfresh, on the pretext that she was expanding her orphanage. Interfresh has since stated that it’s operations have been left under threat by the continued seizure of its land, actions which have resulted in the breakdown of negotiations with its financial partners.

The Mugabe family holds the most land in Zimbabwe, which has still not recovered from the land grab campaign that saw profitable commercial land being seized, often violently, in the name of ‘reform’. The best, most profitable farms were handed, to top ZANU PF officials and cronies. But the majority of these farms have been left unutilised and for over a decade Zimbabwe has relied on food aid to supports millions of hungry people. The land seizures have also continued this year, over a decade since the campaign began.

Economist John Robertson told SW Radio Africa that until property rights are protected in Zimbabwe, there will never be any economic recovery.

“The long term investments of any country depend on property rights. It gives them the confidence to make big expenditure commitments, and when they don’t have that confidence, development stops,” Robertson said.

He said this was evident in Zimbabwe, where investor confidence is very low and little to no local production of exportable goods is taking place.

“This is what we’ve seen in recent years here. We’ve gone backwards, and it’s because of the damage done to property rights,” Robertson said.

To contact this reporter email alex@[email protected] or follow on Twitter

7 Responsesto “Hundreds evicted in fresh Mazowe farm seizures”

  1. Wilbert Mukori says:

    Many Zanu PF leaders will have some serious explaining to do when this Zanu PF dictatorship collapse.

    “Some people might say ‘The First Lady is greedy, why does she want more land?’, but we are saying it is justified for her to have more land,” said Minister Martin Dinha. And who gave you the right to turn the lives of hundreds of others to gratify the insatiable greed of the spoilt few?

    Martin was dully rewarded for his loyalty to the tyrant with the ministerial appointment but one of these days when the tyrant no longer rule the roost all those who turned themselves into little tyrants and ruled with an iron fist will have to have some tough questions to answer!

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      There is need to have an orderly land resetlent programme in this country. It is this government that has the legitimate right to do. People can not just give themselves pieces of land without government intervention if there is to be sanity in Zimbabwe. There is,therefore, no genuine reason for critisizing the police for the forced evictions of squatters on land that is needed by the state for whatever purpose. It is as simple as that mate

      • Wilbert Mukori says:

        Yes of course there is need for “an orderly land resettlement programme” as you say. The problem in Zimbabwe is that Zanu PF is the only one that thinks it has the exclusive right to define what is order and what is not.

        The ordinary people have been denied their basic rights and human dignities – denying them a meaningful share of the land and other resources, right to vote and even the right to life – and Mugabe and you, his acolytes, say that is order.

        I have told you, one of these days you will have the chance to explain your right to shed the blood on your hands! If you fail then it is the hangman’s rope for you! Those who will not live by the law must die by the law!

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          Wilbert, it is the ZANU PF led government that has the sole responsibility for resettling people in ways that it deems fit. This is so because ZANU PF is the ruling political party of this country, believe it or not. Its terms of reference as the ruling political party, ZANU PF has the constitutional obligation in setting the parameters under which pieces of land are to be allocated in this country. ZANU PF does not have to consult the MDC-T or anybody for that matter as the constitution gives such power to the ruling political party of this country.

          I am fully aware that you have the desire to chop my thin neck and preserve your thick head and neck that urges you to work for that pirate radio station in London. In English language such behaviour is considered as treacherous and traitorous. It is a criminal offence that carries a capital punishment in Zimbabwe. Having said this, it needs to be brought to your attention that people are just not given capital punishment without being prosecuted and convicted of a crime committed. Unless you bring the Gestapo laws that allowed people to be murdered during the Second World War without going through all the legal proceedings and procedures, you have no chance of chopping my neck, you bimbo.

          • Wilbert Mukori says:

            Zanu PF does not the “sole responsibility” or authority for anything because the regime is illegitimate. Mugabe rigged the 2013 elections and no stone will be left unturned to document how Mugabe rigged the elections; who helped him, how much they were paid down to the names of all the youth in every part of the country who bussed around to vote.

            Rigging elections is a very serious crime, it is high treason, and the nation will once and once for all stamp it out.

            Once it is established beyond doubt that Mugabe rigged the elections then every he has done will be null and void. I will leave it as an instructive mental exercise to you and the reader what will happen next!

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            In all fairness, Chimbwido Warvet does not want to waste his time arguing over a political party that is known world wide as calling the shots in Zimbabwe. That you are still in shock over the dismal failure of your party in unseating Robert Mugabe has been known for a while. As an employee for SW Radio Africa, a pirate radio station in London that broadcasts hopeless propaganda against zANU PF, there is no way you can be seen as accepting this party as the only and sole ruling political party of this country. We have know for donkey years that you and the pirate radio station you work for can not handle the truth.

          • Wilbert Mukori says:

            Tyrants always view themselves as invincible “the only and sole ruling party,” as you say. By rigging these elections Mugabe may think he bamboozled everyone, he is wrong. He bamboozled Tsvangirai and MDC, yes but there are a few people like me whom he did not bamboozle and we have successful managed to keep the vote rigging on the agenda against all the odds. What is more, we are going to see to it that this is the issue that brings the tyrant down, the issue the tyrant is going to choke on!

            Mugabe ndichidya matovo rendo runo anodzipwa nedovo remhuru! His rule of terror is over!

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