Farmer Gives Minister Shiri Two Week Ultimatum To Handover Seized Farm

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By Costa Nkomo

A MARONDERA businessman and farmer, Godfrey Gonese whose farm was seized by government in 2014 and given to an Italian citizen, Francesco Marconati, has demanded Lands Minister Perrance Shiri to return the property or get sued.

Shiri has up to 14 April this year to comply with the order, according to correspondence between him and Gonese, to return Clifton and Mlanje of Roraima Farms.

Gonese is the director of Lowveld Leather Products and also own several properties inside the contested farm which the government grabbed while he was out of the country.

In his letter to Shiri, dated 29 March 2020, Gonese wrote to Shiri demanding the immediate release of his seized farm by 14 April 2020.

“May you kindly cancel the 2014 lease your ministry gave F. Marconati over my Clifton and Mlanje of Roraima farms in Marondera and restore my occupation and user rights over the same farms in line with the 24 February, 2020 High Court order case HC No. 5530/19 before 14 April, 2020,” the letter reads in part.

“I am allowing you to do what is administratively expected of you, as the authority responsible for land administration, within 30 days after the date of a court order pertaining to your portfolio. I note that you did not do so.

“If you do not act as expected by 14 April, 2020, I am afraid you will waste taxpayer’s money unnecessarily paying legal costs for an urgent High Court application I will lodge to compel you to cancel the F. Marconati lease and release my land immediately.

“I trust you will act responsibly this time around to stop this senseless 16 year madness and allow empowerment progress to go forward again,” said Gonese.