Prominent Karoi Farmer Evicted

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

PROMINENT Karoi farmer Garry Hobbs has been evicted from his farm by the government in what betrays President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sincerity to guarantee property rights and the promotion of the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.

Hobbs and his family, despite having an offer letter, this Thursday woke up to a team from the Sheriff’s Office accompanied by armed police officers to enforce the eviction order.

There was a removal truck ready to ferry the farmer’s household furniture, while tractors and other farm implements were removed from the premises.

The eviction of Hobbs from the land is reportedly to pave way for occupation of the property by an unidentified senior Zanu PF official.

According to sources who spoke to, Hobbs was initially spared his land during the internationally-condemned land grab led by war veterans in 2000 after he voluntarily surrendered a substantial portion of his farm.

Said the source: “He surrendered a big part of the farm in 2000 on his own free will, but now Zanu PF wants the rest of the farm. This is really sad. What is Mnangagwa and his government doing?”

The source added: “The government is allowing property rights to be trampled upon willy-nilly to appease those in power and those with connections. Which investor can come to Zimbabwe when we have serious farmers being dispossessed of their land in such sad circumstances?”

Hobbs was initially served an eviction order in November last year, with the eviction notice following in March 2021.

Efforts to get a comment from Hobbs and the Mashonaland West Provincial Minister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka proved fruitless at the time of publishing.

Mliswa-Chikoka doubles up as the chairperson of the provincial lands committee, which superintends over agricultural land management and distribution.