BY NUNURAI JENA
Former Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Nelson Samkange’s children are entangled in a battle over the control of their late father’s farm, which has affected Rukoba Secondary School operations.
The battle, which has dragged on for years, has affected operations at the farm and more than 600 students at Rukoba, where there is no water since electricity at the farm was disconnected over a $200 000 debt.
The school is located inside the farm.
The pupils at the school are now forced to use untreated water from the dam.
The battle over the farm, pitting Samkange’s son, Mapfumo, against the former minister’s daughter Mildred Nechironga — from a different mother — has resulted in the burning of a thatched farm house, as the fight for control of the farm turned violent.
Nechironga argues that her mother was the one who had acquired the farm while her father was concentrating on government work.
The feud has seen Nechironga failing to benefit from a soyabean contract with Zimgold, after her half-brother demanded a share of the proceeds from Zimgold, claiming ownership of the farm.
A worker at the farm, Terry Chimedza, who has children attending Rukoba school, said the feud between the two siblings was affecting students.
“The situation is now unbearable. Our children are now forced to walk long distances to get water since electricity was disconnected,” Chimedza said.
Nechironga accused Mapfumo of burning the farmhouse last year in an attempt to chase her away.
Mapfumo insists he is the heir to his late father’s estate and accuses Nechironga of being selfish, even though he gave her part of the farm.
“Mildred is being greedy. I left her a portion of the farm, but she wants me off the farm,” Mapfumo said.
The electricity bill, according to Nechironga, was accumulated by two white farmers, who had leased part of the farm under an agreement with Mapfumo.
The former Mashonaland West governor and Zanu-PF central committee member Samkange died in 2013.