HomeNewsBippa farm row: AAG confronts minister

Bippa farm row: AAG confronts minister

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THE row over the Triangle ranch previously owned by Tongaat Hulett has taken a new twist, with the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) wading in, telling the government to stop evicting new farmers because doing so was against the indigenisation and empowerment policies.

New Zimbabwe

Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora
Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora

This comes after Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora issued 174 indigenous farmers with eviction orders, eight months after they were offered the space to farm.

The evictees have since rushed to the High Court in a matter which has sucked in the Foreign Affairs ministry, as the sugarcane farm, located in Masvingo province, is covered under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) signed between Harare and South Africa. The matter is currently awaiting a judgment date.

Some evictees told Newzimbabwe.com that they thought the South African government had applied pressure on Harare during President Jacob Zuma’s visit in November last year.

According to an eviction order sent to all the farmers by Mombeshora, the new farmers must leave the property “immediately” because “the purpose for withdrawal outweighs the representations” made by the applicants.

In a letter to Mombeshora, AAG chief executive officer Davison Todson Gomo said: “Foreign direct investment is welcome to Zimbabwe and that will always remain the case, but certainly not at the expense of local people.

“Government’s responsibility must be to its own people,” adding that “those acting on behalf of Tongaat Hulett are doing so in the interest of their own economy”.

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