Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Mnangagwa named in extortion scam

Mnangagwa named in extortion scam

Saturday, 20 March 2010 20:42

DEFENCE Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is fighting off embarrassing allegations that he is demanding “protection fees” from beleaguered white commercial farmers in the Midlands. Senior Zanu PF officials (names supplied) are reportedly demanding as much as US$5 000 from each farmer so that Mnangagwa can “protect” them from eviction.

Last week, Mnangagwa confirmed that some Zanu PF officials were going around using his name to defraud farmers.

Investigations by The Standard revealed that about six dairy farmers were earlier this year made to pay the “protection fees” to a named senior government official.

The money was allegedly collected by known civil servants, collaborating with a Gweru-based businesswoman (name supplied).

The understanding was that the money would be relayed to Mnangagwa who would then put in place the necessary measures to guarantee their protection from invaders – mostly war veterans and Zanu PF sympathisers.

Some newly resettled farmers were also made to pay a certain portion of their output to ensure they would not lose their farms once government carried out a land audit.

But matters allegedly came to a head for the schemers when a meeting they had arranged between Mnangagwa and the dairy farmers in January failed to take off in Kwekwe.

The meeting was reportedly meant to introduce the farmers to Mnangagwa so that he could personally give them assurance that their farms would not be taken.

“The six dairy farmers were informed through the businesswoman that Mnangagwa had received their payments, and had agreed to meet them at a factory in Kwekwe,” said a source.

When the farmers got to Kwekwe, they were informed that the minister would not make it as he had to attend to an urgent commitment.

The meeting was to be held at a disused factory, according to the source.

“It was then that it emerged Mnangagwa was not at all involved in the deal, and had at no time scheduled a meeting in Kwekwe, or at any factory for that matter.

“It became clear to the farmers that they were being taken for a ride, and they secretly arranged to meet the minister,” said the source, a senior Zanu PF official in Midlands.

Mnangagwa is said to have been shocked about his alleged involvement in the “protection racket” for the farmers, and the claims that he had even agreed to a meeting with the white farmers.

Commercial Farmers’ Union President Deon Theron said he had not received any reports of farmers being extorted of money.

But the sources said a number of farmers, not only in the Midlands but in other provinces as well, had to part with large amounts of money and certain fractions of their produce to keep their farms.

“It is not possible for any farmers to raise the issue with their union, the police or any authority because this is supposed to be a secret deal between the farmer and the officials involved.

“It only becomes a problem when it becomes clear those collecting the money do not have the means to guarantee that protection,” said the source.

Mnangagwa, who is also the MP for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, said a former district chairperson for Kwekwe rural only identified as Cde Makombe was being investigated by police after he collected grain from farmers using his name.

“This is fraud. I reported the matter to the police; they confiscated the maize, and it (the maize) is now in the hands of the police,” he said.Midlands police spokesperson Patrick Chademana would not be drawn to comment on the matter, referring questions to his superiors, Wayne Bvudzijena and Oliver Mandipaka.

Bvudzijena said he needed time to consult police in Kwekwe before commenting.

Sources close to the case said the confiscation of the grain collected by Makombe was likely to cause further factional friction in the province, where Mnangagwa’s supporters are battling it out with provincial governor
Jason Machaya, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, and former minister Flora Bhuka, among others.

Mnangagwa’s supporters accuse Machaya of allocating farms only to his friends and relatives sidelining deserving beneficiaries who include senior officials from the MDC formations.

Machaya said at the moment there were no farms to allocate in the Midlands.


More on Mnangagwa extortion scam

Re “Mnangagwa named in extortion scam”  –

Herewith are the numbers of the two main people in the Midlands that are taking money from farmers for protection in Mnangagwa’s name.  I know of a farmer here in Gweru that paid USD3000to Jason Machaya but has subsequently lost his farm and another farmer that was approached by Jason Machaya to pay USD5000 for a “beneficiary” to be told to get off the farmer’s land.

Perhaps these numbers should be put out on the news and people encouraged to call these people and remind them that their day of punishment is getting rather near and that their actions are rather repulsive.
 Contact numbers for Jason Machaya (Midlands Provincial Governor) and Shoko (Chief Lands Officer -Midlands)

Jason Machaya        +26354222426 (landline)

Shoko                      +263912845021 (mobile) so you can text him 


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