A GROUP of angry farmers stormed Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Sherwood Block Farm in Kwekwe and handed him a petition demanding the eviction and arrest of his cleric neighbour whom they accused of being violent and grabbing their properties.
The incident happened in the full glare of Mnangagwa’s guests on Monday.
The farmers accused Mnangagwa’s neighbour, Reverend Tititi Moyo, of confiscating their farmland, attacking their stray beasts and setting his bouncers on fellow farmers who would have resisted his land grab.
The group also claimed Moyo denied them access to draw water from a canal that passes through
his property and had viciously attacked 18 cattle belonging to his neighbours which had strayed into his farm.
Mnangagwa, whose commercial farm is close to Moyo’s property promised to investigate the issue and threatened to dispatch anti-riot police to restore order in the area.
“We want peace in this area. I have the power to send the black boots (colloquial name for anti-riot police) to deal with troublesome people. We fought against the injustice by white so that we live in peace and harmony,” the Acting President said.
“It is only the government that has the right to withdraw offer letters given to farmers. A1 resettlement permits are permanent. Therefore, A1 farmers have no problem. It is A2 farmers who can have their offer letters withdrawn at any time.
“From today onwards there is no one who shall beat other farmers. We removed the white farmers who had that philosophy and mentality and there is no one who is a law unto himself.”
Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia, called for Moyo’s immediate eviction. But, the Acting President was quick to assure Moyo that no one would evict him.
“We no longer want Tititi in this area. He must pack his bags. Stop it Tititi,” she said, much to the applause of the demonstrators, who broke into song and dance.
One farmer, Tichafa Chitate claimed that Moyo had invaded his farm.
“He sent a team of his bouncers and they ordered me off the farm saying it had been allocated to him and they started cutting down trees under the guise of clearing the land. I have an offer letter for this piece of land,” Chitate said.
Moyo, who was present during the demonstration apologised to the farmers and pleaded for sympathy, saying: “Whoever is wronged must report to the police. I am a God-fearing man and I shall do no such thing as to harm others. I have an offer letter for 250 hectares.”
NewsDay could not establish which church Moyo shepherds.
Other dignitaries, who witnessed the drama included Chief Samambwa, Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge, Kwekwe mayor Matenda Madzoke and top Zanu PF officials among them politburo deputy secretary for administration July Moyo, who were partying with Mnangagwa’s family following his recent elevation to the post of Vice-President.
The Justice minister, replaced former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who was expelled from government early this month on allegations of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa is currently Acting President as Mugabe, who turns 91 in February, is on his annual leave in the Far East until mid-January.