BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
TWO gunshots were allegedly fired yesterday after Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) youth tried to regain control of the Ntabazinduna Lodge, which was forcibly taken away from the owner, Brian Davies, by Floyd Ambrose, a Zanu PF member.
It is alleged that last Friday, Ambrose, who is Davies’ former worker, evicted his former employer from the lodge, defying three High Court orders barring him from doing so.
He reportedly threw Davies’ property outside the gate.
When Southern Eye visited the site yesterday, Davies’ belongings were still outside the gate.
In a bid to defend Davies, MRP president Mqondisi Moyo and party youths went to the area.
Ambrose and his two colleagues had to flee into the bush with the MRP youth in hot pursuit.
This resulted in Ambrose firing two warning shots in the air to scare them off.
Moyo told Southern Eye that the MRP had intervened to fight the injustice perpetrated by the government.
He said the Davies family had been in the area since 1903.
“This agreement was further cemented by Chief Khayisa Ndiweni, who said this place has historical significance for the Ndebeles. Zanu PF allowed a land reform programme which saw them willy-nilly invading other people’s property,” Moyo said.
“We have seen Zanu PF doing whatever they want in Ntabazinduna, which falls under Umguza constituency. Two days ago, Ambrose came and removed Davies forcefully and in the process, he threatened him saying that since he belonged to Zanu PF, he was untouchable.”
Davies is said to be in possession of three High Court rulings in his favour as the owner of the land.
“Last week, there was a court order which came from the sheriff’s office to remove Ambrose because he is not the rightful owner of this place. We came here to ensure that sanity prevails and Davies is given back his land,” Moyo added.
MRP Matabeleland North chairperson Thembisani Mpofu said a few weeks ago, Ambrose vowed that he would leave the lodge over his dead body.
Mpofu said the MRP would not leave the area until Davies has reclaimed his land.
The Davies family is among the largest pork producers in the country, with over 12 000 pigs, a large herd of cattle, a commercial crocodile farm and a well-established photographic safari operation.
With the permission of the late Paramount Chief Khayisa Ndiweni, they built Chief’s Lodge on top of Ntabazinduna Hill, a famous historical site that is important in the Ndebele culture.
Chief Ndiweni made the Davies family custodians of Ntabazinduna Hill, and the family promised to preserve it.
The family employed more than 350 workers, who together with their families, have been wholly dependent on income generated from the farming and photographic safari operations.
Last year, Chief Nhlanhla Felix Ndiweni lashed out at government over its plans to evict Davies and called on the West to tighten sanctions on the country to compel President Emmerson Mnangagwa to reverse the decision.