Govt moves to repossess ex-Minister’s Marondera farm

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By Mashonaland East Correspondent

Zanu PF MP for Uzumba, Simbaneuta Mudarikwa is set to lose his farm in Wenimbi, Marondera after government investigations revealed that he was subletting the land because he owns another one.

Agriculture Minister, Perrance Shiri recently wrote to Mudarikwa notifying him of government’s intention to withdraw the offer under the Land Reform Programme, for the Wenimbi farm measuring 67.50 hectares.

In the letter, Shiri accused Mudarikwa, a former Mashonaland East Resident Minister, of owning another farm in Mashonaland Central province while subletting the Wenimbi farm.

“Notice is hereby given that the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement intends to withdraw the offer of land made to you in respect of subdivision 3 measuring 67.50HA of Wenimbi Farm in the district of Mashonaland East province,” Shiri’s letter to Mudarikwa reads.

Shiri went on invite the MP to make representations he might have on the repossession of the farm within a week.

The move by Shiri confirms claims that the majority of senior Zanu PF and government officials are beneficiaries to more than one farm after seizing nearly half of the country’s commercial farms in a land grab widely blamed for the country’s economic collapse.

However, the government is currently carrying out a land audit that seeks to flush out multiple farm owners and correct the wrongs of the chaotic and controversial land reform exercise. Former President Robert Mugabe reportedly owns around 12 farms he grabbed during his rule.

Several white farmers, evicted at the height of the land reform programme, have since returned to their farms since last year while more also expected to return and resume farming.

Shiri has in the past called for “unquestionable sanity on the farms”, a move that has seen thousands of illegal black farmers being evicted across the country from the land they have been occupying since the turn of the century when Mugabe unleashed veterans of the liberation struggle in what critics argued was a political survival gimmick.

However, Mugabe argued he wanted to redress colonial land imbalances.