The sale of Meikles Park to a Chinese diamond mining company that threatened to divide Mutare city council was stopped during a drama-filled special council meeting on Friday.
During the meeting, town clerk Obert Muzawazi stormed out of the chamber as tempers flared. Council had proposed to sell Meikles Park in the city for $1, 7 million to a Chinese diamond mining firm Anjin.
However, the Local Government ministry reportedly attempted to stop the sale, saying the property price was inflated.
The ministry then allegedly proposed a land swoop or sale of the land for $160 000, a figure hotly disputed by the city fathers.
On Friday, the city fathers reportedly refused to bow down to the pressure and resolved to safeguard council interests.
Mayor Brian James said council had passed a resolution against transferring ownership of the piece of land to the Chinese firm before full payment of the property.
“In order to safeguard our interests, we resolved that no individual or group of individuals sign or cause to release the ownership of the city land from city council. Only until such a time that the council through a full council meeting acknowledges full payment either in cash or equivalent will we release Meikles Park,” James said.