CHINHOYI – Senior Zanu PF officials and activists from Mashonaland West province are reportedly falling on each other demanding “protection fees” from a white commercial farmer whose farm was recently “wrongly” gazetted for resettlement.
Fourteen people, including members of the dreaded Zanu PF militia group, “Top Six” now claim ownership of plots at the 7 200-hectare Zawi Farm which belongs to 76-year-old Danny and Marie Bosman.
On Monday, Marie Bosman confirmed a group of people had “invaded” their farm and allocated themselves farming plots.
“Yes, they are making all sorts of demands. However, the irony is that these people have offer letters yet this farm was not earmarked for gazetting. It’s our farm,” Marie said, adding the couple would start legal proceedings against the “invaders” at the High Court this week.
“Top Six” leader Josphat Chiweshe and 13 others yesterday showed NewsDay offer letters (ref: LLRR 704) for subdivision 13 of Zawi Farm situated in Makonde district. The offer letters dated November 28 2011 were issued by Minister of Lands Herbert Murerwa in terms of the Agricultural Land Settlement Act (chapter 20:01).
Chiweshe alleged that some senior Zanu PF officials were extorting money from few remaining farmers in the province, including Bosman, to ensure their farms were not expropriated for resettlement.
“Bigwigs benefitted from the land reform, but do not want us to get land. We know some bigwigs who are going around demanding money and other inducements from white farmers so that they remain on their farms,” Chiweshe said.
Zanu PF provincial administrator Fanuel Chikomba is allegedly protecting the Bosmans who were supposed to have vacated the farm on February 4 2007. But Chikomba, a war veteran, shot down the allegations, saying: “I enjoy cordial relations with the Bosmans, particularly Brink Bosman who is son to Danny. I stay at his farm. This should not be construed as protectionism.”
Efforts to get comment from Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairperson John Mafa and provincial governor Faber Chidarikire were fruitless.