THE Odar Farm wrangle reignited on Wednesday with the arrest of Southlea Park Home Owners’ Association (SPHOA) leaders for allegedly blocking residents from paying $42 million compensation to businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, who claims ownership of the property.
by Staff Reporter
SPHOA president Nathan Nyambuya and his deputy Clifford Kaseke were allegedly summoned by the Harare Central Police Law and Order Section after Chiyangwa reportedly ordered their arrest.
They were detained at Harare Central Police Station from 8am until 4pm for “trespassing on Chiyangwa’s property, mobilising residents not to pay compensation for the land and illegal selling of residential stands”.
“We were called by police from the Law and Order section on Tuesday to report to Harare Central Police Station and we reported yesterday [Wednesday],” Kaseke told NewsDay.
“They told us that we had been reported by Chiyangwa at Waterfalls Police Station as land barons selling his stands to desperate home seekers. He also reported us for trespassing and influencing residents not to pay compensation.”
The business mogul and Zanu PF central committee member is reportedly demanding $42 million compensation from more than 8 000 homeowners who were settled by government in 2006.
Kaseke said they were only released after they showed police proof that they resided in Southlea Park and also after Chiyangwa failed to produce evidence that we were selling land and mobilising people not to pay compensation.
“We also proved to the police that there was a pending High Court application filed on January 12 seeking to reverse a decision by government to set aside the reminder of Odah Farm for Chiyangwa under a deed of transfer of July 28, 2015. The police told us that they would summon us after finalising investigations,” he added.
Chiyangwa is cited as the first respondent in last week’s High Court challenge where the Ministry of Local Government, Attorney-General and Odar Housing Development Consortium are listed as the other respondents.
When contacted for comment, Chiyangwa angrily said: “They have told you that I reported them to the police, so what else do you want from me? I want to put the record straight: Anyone who tampers with my property will be arrested!”
On January 2, Chiyangwa reportedly disrupted a police-sanctioned residents’ meeting deliberating on a 14-day ultimatum he had given them to pay compensation.
Last year, leaders of the consortium were frequently harassed by the police before they started working with Chiyangwa, leaving residents abandoned who then formed SPHOA to represent their interests.
Chiyangwa took over Odar Farm through a deed of transfer obtained last July, while papers show that the land was given to the Odar consortium by government in 2006.
The land was compulsorily acquired from the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association on June 16, 2006 under deed of transfer 816/65 when Didymus Mutasa was National Security and Lands minister.