THE Lands and Rural Resettlement ministry and CFI Holdings Limited have consented on the compulsory acquisition of part of Saturday Retreat Estate, commonly referred to as Crest Breeders International, a move that will see the latter pocketing over $26 million in compensation.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Crest Breeders International has also been offered an unoccupied portion of the property measuring 401 hectares and appointed the developer of occupied land measuring 656 hectares.
“The respondent be and is hereby appointed the developer of the occupied property measuring 656 hectares. The compensation value for the occupied land is the sum of $26 240 000 at the rate of $400 per square metre,” said the consent order granted by High Court judge Justice Herbert Mandeya.
The consent between the two parties followed the resolution of a dispute between the government and Crest Breeders International in respect of the compulsory acquisition of the latter’s farm.
The two parties agreed to settle the matter on the terms set out in the memorandum of agreement signed on December 18 last year, thereby bringing the 12-year land dispute to rest.
Part of the Deed of Settlement dated January 13, 2015, which was eventually confirmed as a court order by Justice Mandeya reads: “The respondent (Crest Breeders International) is entitled to full compensation for the compulsory acquisition of its urban land . . . the respondent be and is hereby allocated the unoccupied portion of the property measuring 401 hectares . . . the respondent is hereby appointed the sole and exclusive developer of the property defined in the Deed of Settlement measuring 401 hectares.”
The court order goes further to indicate that the terms and conditions of Crest Breeders’ appointment as the sole developer of the unoccupied land shall be governed by the agreement entered into between the government and the CFI Holdings subsidiary company.
The dispute started when then Lands minister Herbert Murerwa took the company to court seeking compulsory take-over the latter’s land in terms of the Land Acquisition Act.
Murerwa argued in his court affidavit that the acquisition of the land was for urban expansion and urban development purposes to accommodate more than two million homeless people.
According to the court papers, over 7 500 families are settled on the occupied land while 7 000 families are expected to be settled on the unoccupied land.