Farmers Robert Smart and his son Darryn who were reportedly evicted from their Lesbury Estate farm in Makoni District by former Minister of State for Manicaland Province, Mandi Chimene are set to return to their land. This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration reversed the decision to evict them. Robert Smart said that armed men with AK 47 rifles attacked his farm workers and chased them away to make way for Bishop Trevor Manhanga, who is reported to have close connections to former President Robert Mugabe. The evictions occured in June.
Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri warned that Zanu-PF was going to reverse all decisions which were made by Chimene’s administration. Muchinguri accused Chimene of being a stooge of former First Lady Grace Mugabe who was used to grab land and to redistribute it to G40 Faction allies.
Special Adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Chris Mutsvangwa emphasised that the two farmers should not be disturbed in their farming activities. Said Mutsvangwa
These two farmers, Robert and Darryn were victimized by Mandi Chimene. President Mnangagwa attended an investment conference to lure investors in June and Chimene sent some armed people to invade Smart farm so that the country could be portrayed as high-risk destination for investment.
This was a ploy by Chimene to scare away the investors from the country. President Mnangagwa was clear that land reform is irreversible but insisted that it should not be racial.
Chimene was expelled from Zanu-PF together with other alleged G40 Faction members.
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