Award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has castigated corruption and nepotism in the re-allocation of Farfell Estates located in Mount Selinda, Eastern Highlands. The farm which produces coffee for the export market was given to Remembrance Gwarazimba who is the son of Manicaland Resident Minister. Said Chin’ono:
I have argued that corruption, nepotism and incompetence are at the centre of our economic demise. Now the minister for Manicaland gifted a farm to her son under a different name, that is nepotism and corruption. This farm is a major exporter of Farfell coffee and avocados, forex.
This is not just land, it is a business. Why disturb a major business which exports to the world earning the country much needed foreign exchange when there is so much land lying idle in the same district of Manicaland? How will investors feel safe when they see scenes like that?
Farfell Estates is an established brand whose coffee product was even featured in a Hollywood film, Borat. Any Zimbabwean who wants land can get land because there are hundreds of farms lying idle, it is counterproductive for our country to continue taking established businesses.
We must choose whether we want to succeed or to remain in the past where farming businesses don’t feel safe. These are self-imposed sanctions because no serious investor would want to put money in farming when they can lose their property the next day.
This offer letter [authorising the seizure of Farfell Estates] has R. Mbuzana who is actually Remembrance Gwaradzimba, the son of the Manicaland Resident Minister, is this the New Republic that the President preaches about where ministers can seize businesses and pass them on to their sons using police and hired thugs?
Hopewell Chin’ono is a Zimbabwean journalist and documentary filmmaker. He has won numerous awards in journalism and has worked in both print and broadcasting journalism. Hopewell did a fellowship at Harvard as part of winning the CNN African journalist of the year.