HomeLocal NewsWar vets block army officer from grabbing farm

War vets block army officer from grabbing farm

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A senior army officer, Colonel Francis Chakauya, has reportedly clashed with war veterans over moves to evict a white farmer, Govart Goddard, who for long has been spared because of his alleged links to senior Zanu PF officials.

According to documents in NewsDay’s possession, Goddard allegedly contributed to Zanu PF’s 2001 provincial congress and 2005 election campaign to safeguard his properties.

Last Friday, Chakauya allegedly caused a stir after he stormed Goddard’s Ibeka Farm in army regalia and ordered the farmer to vacate the property.

The 121-hectare farm is located 10 kilometres outside Masvingo along the Masvingo-Bulawayo Road.

Goddard locked himself in the farmhouse for about two hours until Chakauya left. Journalists based in Masvingo witnessed the drama as it unfolded, but were barred from taking pictures of the incident.

Chakauya, who claimed to have a government offer letter to occupy the farm, declined interviews.

Ousted provincial war veterans leader Isaiah
Muzenda blocked Chakauya from grabbing the farm.

“I am not protecting the white farmer, but my point is that a black farmer, Samson Zvoushe, who once invaded the farm, was chucked out by the lands committee which recommended that Goddard be exempted.

“So if the white farmer is finally losing his land, then it should go to Zvoushe and not to Chakauya. The colonel should look for land elsewhere. People are angry because they were removed from land which they had invaded, only to see other people being given the land.

“This is corruption. We do not want inconsistencies. As war veterans, we should safeguard the land reform programme to avoid corruption.

“We wanted to evict Goddard, but the lands committee protected him. So, why remove him now?” asked Muzenda, a former member of the provincial lands committee.

In letter, dated February 26 2001, then Zanu PF provincial chairperson Samuel Mumbengegwi thanked Goddard for a Z$20 000 donation he made towards the party’s provincial congress.

In another letter dated June 27 2005, Zanu PF Masvingo chairman Lovemore Matuke acknowledged Goddard’s cash donation towards Zanu PF candidates for Parliamentary election.

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