Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Mzembi defies Mahofa

Mzembi defies Mahofa

Minister Mzembi

Minister Mzembi

Clemence Manyukwe News Editor
TOURISM Minister Walter Mzembi has vowed to stay put on a Masvingo farm which the Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa described as “strategic” to the province.

On Thursday, Mahofa said she had barred Mzembi from taking over part of the farm which is home to the province’s largest hatchery project that produces 100,000 day-old chicks per week.

Barquest Farm, which is owned by Hellen Mitchell, is located near Lake Mutirikwi.

Mahofa said Mzembi should relinquish any claim to the property, adding that land would be found for him elsewhere.

But Mzembi yesterday told The Chronicle that Senator Mahofa had no power over land matters as she can only make recommendations to the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Douglas Mombeshora.

“The correct position which I wish the public to know is that I was offered Subdivision 1 equivalent to 367.51 ha in extent of Barquest Extension, which was gazetted many years ago for the purposes of compulsory acquisition and resettlement by the government of Zimbabwe, leaving the Mitchells with an ungazetted portion in excess of 500 ha to pursue their business and family interests,” said the minister.

“On my portion, as I’ve already shared with the Mitchells, I’m going to develop a hatchery, abattoir and processing plant for a poultry venture whose business elements are on file with the provincial and national government. I intend to complement the production statistics that Cde Mahofa has alluded to and she has all the information in the submission that led to my being allocated the farm.”

He added: “In the meantime, I wish to advise all that I’m now the legitimate occupant of Barquest Extension that I was offered by the government and I will commence operations after due process.”

The minister said Mahofa was best advised to engage the Minister of Lands directly and to use official channels when dealing with the matter.

He said as this was official government business, the matter has its own channels of communication and does not need amplification through the media.

He went on: “My muted silence on the matter in the face of a barrage of attacks from public media and colleagues in government and the party shouldn’t be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.

“There’s a modicum of communication that’s generally expected of us at this senior level both in government and the party that I’m observing, notwithstanding how right or aggrieved me may feel about certain issues at play.

“However, because this matter is already planted in the mindset of readers through various articles that seem to suggest that I’m grabbing a viable chicken business belonging to the Mitchells, in very brief remarks I wish to state my position to the contrary.”

Senator Mahofa had earlier said the farm was strategic to Masvingo province in terms of supply of chicks and eggs. She said besides supplying day-old chicks and eggs to Masvingo, Mitchell’s hatchery project also serviced Manicaland and Midlands provinces.

Sen Mahofa said she had already informed officials in the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement in Masvingo to identify another farm for Minister Mzembi.

She said other senior officials in the province like Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira wanted to take over the farm a few years ago but were stopped because of its strategic importance to Masvingo.

Sen Mahofa said the Masvingo provincial leadership would not tolerate the take-over of productive farms that benefit the majority of the people.


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