Zanu-PF central committee member and former Finance deputy minister, Terence Mukupe, has once again initiated efforts to remove more than 40 farmers from Mt Olympus Chishawasha B Farm in Goromonzi, where he intends to establish a housing scheme.
These A1 farmers have resided on the farm for over two decades, with most of them possessing government offer letters. On Wednesday, the farmers, who also support Zanu-PF, gathered at the farm, singing and chanting slogans to resist eviction when Mukupe dispatched land clearing equipment.
Mukupe claims that the land is designated for urban expansion and said that they have all the necessary paperwork. He mentioned that they have offered compensation, suggesting the construction of four-roomed houses or providing cash to affected farmers.
In a letter addressed to the farmers, Mukupe’s lawyers, Chingeya-Mandizira Legal Practitioners, informed them of the planned subdivision of the area for residential development. They stated that all required permits for the development had been obtained from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
The lawyers assured the farmers that those affected would receive compensation through an alternative piece of planned land or accommodation.
Some of the affected farmers have expressed their displeasure, and a Zanu-PF delegation led by the provincial party chairperson is expected to visit Chishawasha to resolve the situation.
Goromonzi North legislator Ozias Bvute mentioned that the farmers possess legal documents from the Lands ministry, while Mukupe has documents from the Local Government ministry, creating confusion. He hopes for a favorable resolution for the farmers.
The Chishawasha communal lands have been targeted by land barons for the allocation of residential stands. Farmtel Investments and other companies reportedly belonging to political figures received portions of the 2,848.77ha farm in 2016.
Mukupe previously attempted to evict the farmers in 2019 but was unsuccessful due to intervention by Zanu-PF officials.