Grace in fresh land grab

First Lady Grace Mugabe has reportedly renewed her bid to evict villagers at Arnold Farm in Mazowe to expand her business empire following disclosures that the Lands ministry officials this week started parcelling the farm to pave way for the First Family.

By Xolisani Ncube

First Lady Grace Mugabe

First Lady Grace Mugabe

Desperate and scared villagers, who in 2012 were thrown out of the land during the farming season, only to be returned by the courts, said Lands ministry officials accompanied by some staff from Grace’s Gushungo Dairy visited the farm, demarcating it to pave way for their operations expansion.

In 2014, the courts stopped the evictions when Grace took over the adjacent Manzou Farm and turned it into a game sanctuary until the government provided alternative land to settle the villagers who took control of the farm at the height of the farm invasions in 2000.

Grace, who has acquired vast tracts of land in Mazowe, intends to build Robert Mugabe hospitals, university and secondary school to add to the dairy farm, children’s home and elite primary school.

A villager, Leonard Mukaro, from Arnold Farm, told NewsDay that Lands ministry officials informed the villagers to leave the area as the First Family had acquired the place for their business expansion.

“We first saw them on Monday, they were busy pegging on our stands. They came again on Tuesday. Today (yesterday) they came and we had to ask one of their officials who told us that the farm has been acquired by Alpha and Omega, so we are being told to leave the area anytime. We really don’t know where to go,” Mukaro said.

He said the officials said the First Lady had purchased about 1 200 hectares of the land.

“One Tuesday, four trucks came in. One was written Alpha and Omega, while the other three had white number plates. We asked them and they said they were from the Ministry of Lands and wanted us to leave the farm because the land now belongs to Alpha and Omega,” Mukaro added.

Mashonaland Central provincial minister Martin Dinha indicated he wanted to check details with Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, while Presidential spokesperson George Charamba could not comment as he was travelling with the President in Ezulwini, Swaziland, for a Sadc engagement.

“I will give you a written response on WhatsApp. I don’t want to be misquoted,” Dinha said, but had not responded by the time of going to print last night.

Repeated efforts to get a comment failed.

Mombeshora did not respond to clarify on the matter or the fate of the villagers who have been resisting eviction since 2009.

However, a top Lands ministry official confirmed the farm had been taken over by the First Family and a Chinese firm to establish a blasting factory, but the villagers may be spared evictions.

“The villagers were given Nyandirwe Farm, close to Manzou, but they are resisting eviction. Other villagers have since left for Nyandirwe. The Chinese want to set up a factory, obviously they will be in partnership with the First Family,” a source said.

“I don’t think the factory will affect the villagers. It is true, some Ministry of Lands officials were there accompanied by an Alpha and Omega vehicle. The staff from Alpha and Omega only wanted to show the ministry officials the place the Chinese want.”

The Mugabes reportedly own several commercial farms in Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West provinces despite the country’s laws prohibiting multiple farm ownership.

13 Responses to Grace in fresh land grab

  1. refugee in my own country March 18, 2017 at 6:10 am #

    hatina musha nyika belongs to wene vazvo

  2. Tatenda March 18, 2017 at 7:28 am #

    all animals are equal but some are more equal than others

  3. zaka jerera March 18, 2017 at 8:05 am #

    destroying fitile land to build school n university which are already in excess.SHAME to u mr dead president

  4. NACIDO RICO March 18, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    Grace is right.

  5. jjjj aaah March 18, 2017 at 9:14 am #

    munhu wese kuna amai . ndiko kuti tiwane mabasa pamberi nekuvhura mabusness

  6. Bradha maunganidze March 18, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    munoregerei kumbomawana mabasa acho nhasi?

  7. NACIDO RICO March 18, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    Grace is not underutilizing land unlike some lazy farmers. Grace is taking good care of orphans and children from poor families. WHO AMONG YOU IS SUPPORTING AN ORPHAN OR GIVING A BLIND OR PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED PERSON HAND?
    The land Grace is taking would benefit the villagers thru employment.
    I dont see anything bad Grace is doing here.
    Lets not hate for the sake of hating.

  8. Chitambo March 18, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    How many farms did Ian Smith own?

  9. NACIDO RICO March 18, 2017 at 9:44 am #

    Keep it up Grace.

  10. NACIDO RICO March 18, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    The villagers girls gets impregnated and dump the babies. The first Lady would then take those dumped babies into her opharnage. Ironically, those who are excoriating Grace have children who are in Grace opharnage.
    THE LAND SHOULD BE FULLY UTILIZED AND THATS WHAT GRACE IS DOING.

  11. NACIDO RICO March 18, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    Stop hating.

  12. dubs March 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    lets build our nation as dr grace is doing…viva amai

  13. Lwe March 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    Perhaps Mazowe should be changed to Gracelands

© 2017 NewsDay Zimbabwe. All Rights Reserved.

DMMA logo