Harare businessman Phillip Chiyangwa has accused government of stealing his three farms — Stonebridge, Nyarungu Estate and Orda, measuring 1 386 hectares under the guise of indigenisation.
He also threatened to sue all those that have occupied the disputed land. Chiyangwa said residents at Southlea Park were being duped into believing they now owned land, but would soon realise they had fallen into “a political trap”.
He said he had correspondence where government promised to compensate him for his farms, but was now backtracking and seizing the land he had paid for.
In a letter dated March 27 2009 addressed to Chiyangwa, a director in the National Housing and Social Amenities ministry only identified as SM Sibanda wrote:
“Following discussions regarding Orda Farm (Southlea Park), government noted that some beneficiaries have already come to an understanding with the owner (Chiyangwa) regarding compensation levels and there are those who are also willing to conclude with the owner directly . . . authority is hereby granted to the owner to conclude with those willing to compensate and take transfer.”
Chiyangwa said he wondered why the Lands ministry had now resolved to repossess the land from him instead of paying compensation.
In a joint venture agreement, between Zimta Credit Co-operative Union and 52 other institutions and companies, which is included in the High Court papers, it was stated the objective of the union was:
“To pay compensation to the former land owner namely Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (Sensene Investment owned by Chiyangwa) at the level pegged by the government of Zimbabwe.”
Chiyangwa this week came out guns blazing: “Is it now the new ethic that public morality dictates that the need for public housing trumps property rights?
“Much as we are a revolutionary party (ie Zanu PF), it is disheartening to notice the public media’s silence when the perpetrated thuggery of the political elite is unleashed upon us negating every tenet of city planning, private property rights and all that goes with the security of tenure.”
He accused CBZ Bank, FBC Bank, Zesa, Mini Cliplite Investments, Zimta, and ZFC among others, of sponsoring illegal actions at Southlea Park.
He has since appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the confirmation of compulsory acquisition of his land by the Administrative Court last week.