Senior Government officials are reportedly planning to seize productive white-owned farmers in Mashonaland West Province, The Zimbabwe Independent reports. The fresh land seizures are reportedly led by Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa and Temba Mliswa is said to be aware of the developments.
According to the publication, the government officials are eyeing Hunyani Farm, a 2 400ha estate located just outside Norton, which belongs to Peter Drummond and it has a contract with Delta Beverages and supplies 70 tonnes of chicken per month to retailers. The officials are also targeting Robert Davenport’s Stapleford Farm in Darwendale, Stapleford Farm reportedly produces export blueberries.
According to a source that spoke to the publication:
Although (Martin) Rushwaya has a farm in Mvuma, he has been looking to get a farm closer to Harare. He complains that the one he was allocated by government during the fast-track land reform programme is too far away from the capital city. He has identified Drummond’s farm and the process to allocate him 500ha there is already underway,
Actually, he knows how productive the farm is from the days when he was permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence. He used to buy chickens from there on behalf of the army and when he left, the supplier was owed substantial amounts of money, I think in the region of half a million of United States dollars or so.
The farmers are reportedly hoping the government will save them from losing their farms as evidenced by the meeting Drummond had with Mliswa who is reportedly not willing to budge:
Drummond insists that he gave up his 5000ha farm in Chegutu in 1990 after he sold it for half the price to government and was promised that his farm would not be downsized since he had already significantly contributed to the land reform programme. He has had meetings with the minister (Mliswa), who is, however, not willing to budge.
According to the publication, Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri has written to Drummond informing him that the government will downsize his farm to 500ha.
More: The Zimbabwe Independent