Mat South farmer’s eviction stirs hornet’s nest

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

A government decision to kick-out local white commercial farmer, Jack Parsons off his Tabas Induna farm in Ntabazinduna in Matabeleland South, has irked the local traditional leaders.

Parsons and his family, were ordered to vacate the property by 15 April, to pave way for one Floyd Ambrose who is reportedly linked to top Zanu PF officials.

A spokesperson for the Parsons family, Buz Davies said they were served with the eviction notice on April 9.

The move to evict the family from the farm has been condemned by the locals.

Ntabazinduna chief, Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni warned the government that any attempts to evict the farmer will be fiercely resisted by the traditional leaders in the region.

“The College of Amakhosi (Chiefs), is calling for the US government and European Union (EU), to immediately increase and tighten all the sanctions against this administration.

“It is evident that this administration is only playing lip service to the reforms identified by the international community,” said chief Ndiweni in a statement.

College of Amakhosi which is comprised of chiefs from Matabeleland is the region’s   highest traditional court.

“The College of Amakhosi, is therefore beginning a campaign that will return the farm to the Parsons family. The voice of traditional leaders must be taken note of in such matters,” said Ndiweni.

The Parsons reportedly “purchased” the farm in 1953. The farm now includes the famous Chiefs lodge on top of Ntabazinduna Hill, a famous historical site that is important in the Ndebele culture.

The farm was once listed for resettlement at the height of the invasions in 2000.

Ndiweni maintained that Parsons‘s eviction was driven by corruption and greed as opposed to a genuine resettlement programme.

“Indeed by the evidence of what is happening at Ntabazinduna, this administration is still engaged in evicting farmers in the most inhuman way. This eviction does not have any high moral ethos or political ideology attached to it at all. It has everything to do with corruption and basic thuggery.

“This eviction does not recognise the local people of Ntabazinduna or indeed the whole of Matabeleland. This eviction does not recognise the customs, practices, traditions, norms and history of the whole Ndebele nation in this county. This eviction has impoverished the local people for the sake of a corrupt few individuals,” added Ndiweni.

A villager in the area, Jane Moyo also deplored the farmer’s eviction.

“Why is this new government indicating left when it wants to turn right? The government has said the time for evictions is over and people should now focus on production but white farmers are still being pushed from their farms to pave way for politicians and their cronies. This is not what we expected from (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa’s government,” said Moyo.

In 2015, Matabeleland chiefs with the support of the civic society organisations successfully blocked intelligence operative, Rodney Mashingaidze from displacing prominent farmer Peter Cunningham from his Maleme farm in Matobo district in Matabeleland South.