Minister grabs Nkomo’s land

via Minister grabs Joshua Nkomo’s land – DailyNews Live. 10 June 2014  By  Gift Phiri

HARARE – Controversial Masvingo provincial minister, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, is at it again — this time allegedly working in cahoots with a private company in expropriating land at the Chingwizi transit camp owned by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo.

The contested ranch is registered in the name of the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) which was founded by the late and revered Vice President in 1989, when it was then earmarked to produce bio-fuels in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region.

Bhasikiti’s alleged seizure of the land, ostensibly working in cahoots with a group of senior directors at the Tongaat Hulett-owned Triangle (Pvt) Limited, puts in jeopardy the welfare of at least 3 000 families who were moved in February to the Chingwizi transit camp, in Mwenezi district, Masvingo province — about 150km away from the flooded Tokwe-Mukorsi dam basin where they used to live.

According to the DTZ, the resettled villagers are staunchly resisting plans to evict them from the land to make way for Bhasikiti’s intended business — sugar cane farming.

But Bhasikiti refuted the claims yesterday when the Daily News called him with the allegations, dismissing them as “utter rubbish”.

“Tongaat, I repeat to you, will never farm in Chingwizi. It’s for people or flood victims alone to do their irrigation farming there.

“It’s propaganda. I farm 234 hectares where I grow sugar cane and citrus. I don’t need anything more than what I have. All those imaginations are mere manufacturing and nonsense. It’s a stupid story,” he charged.

But Charles Madonko, DTZ resident director for Nuanetsi, told the Daily News that Bhasikiti was a “wolf in sheep skin”, further claiming that the resident minister was seizing the Nuanetsi Ranch, the property that Nkomo left in DTZ’s care.

He said when the Tokwe Mukosi flood disaster hit the province, DTZ did not object to stranded villagers being brought into the ranch without consultation after realising the magnitude of the humanitarian tragedy, as the priority was saving lives.

Madonko said DTZ had sought audience with the team that was managing the disaster through Bhasikiti, in order to collectively work on structuring a programme to resettle people, as well as other existing development plans with investors.

“But the provincial minister snubbed us. On many occasions we sought audience with him but he was slippery,” Madonko told the Daily News.

“We were extremely worried because his unilateral decisions on how to resettle the affected families placed a huge investment in jeopardy — an investment that is meant to assist the very people affected by the flood.

“Before long, we heard shocking details of how the provincial minister teamed up with a group of senior directors in Triangle Limited to form a company that would grow cane on Chingwizi on the land that is being targeted for the victims. He was given shares in this company on condition that he delivered land to the consortium. So he turned around and in the disguise of resettling flood victims, began to invade DTZ property.”

Triangle (Pvt) Ltd is a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Tongaat Hulett’s Zimbabwe subsidiary.

Madonko said Bhasikiti, said to be a loyalist of vice president Joice Mujuru, was abusing the Vice President’s name to quash objections to the seizure of Nkomo’s land.

The late Vice President Joshua Nkomo

He alleged that when they made noise, they were summoned to the vice-president’s office by the minister in her office, Sylvester Nguni.

“In the presence of Dr Judith Kateera, minister Nguni and Bhasikiti himself, we were told that all land is State land and that the government has taken over Nuanetsi,” Madonko said.

“And then I said but we have cattle in there and we were rudely told to move them out. I was very sad. (The late VP) Nkomo worked hard to buy Nuanetsi from Imperial Cold Storage Company of South Africa in 1989. We bought the farm as DTZ — we did not grab it from anybody.

“Now to be told ‘all land belongs to government’ really boggles the mind. We had to borrow funds from Old Mutual and the loans were repaid in full. And then I wished that Josh (Nkomo) were alive.”

Madonko said Bhasikiti later told Mujuru at a caucus briefing in Masvingo that he has an investor to develop irrigation for the people, but they would not be allocated individual plots.

Villagers would get one hectare each for homesteads and the rest of the hectarage would be put under cane by the unnamed investor who would give dividends to the community once every year for their land.

The villagers have staunchly resisted this.

On May 10, 10 Zanu PF ministers, including the ministers of Local Government Ignatius Chombo and Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, visited the camp accompanied by armed police in an unsuccessful attempt to get the displaced families to accept relocation without compensation to one-hectare plots, where they have been told they must grow sugar cane or lose food aid.

Madonko said the planned relocation was a sinister plot that would personally benefit Bhasikiti and a coterie of senior directors at the South Africa-owned Triangle Limited.

“He (Bhasikiti) has disguised his selfish money-spinning venture as assistance to the people,” Madonko said.

“I remembered Josh’s (Joshua Nkomo) words there and then — if you can have leaders whose pre-occupation is to turn the misfortune of their people into a money spinning venture, then the President has every reason to be angry — he is surrounded by wolves.

“Now the people at Chingwizi are resisting and we can’t blame them — how can people have this imposed on them — to be told that you will never work on the land all your life, you will just sit on your homestead and get money every year if there is a profit from your land.”

The DTZ resident director said jackboot tactics were being employed to expropriate Nkomo’s land.

“To start with, we as DTZ, are the owners of the land, we were not consulted when this plan was being hatched, now we see the army personnel being forced into our premises — right into our offices without any form of consultation or communication,” Madonko said.

But Bhasikiti said it was State land which they can use to resettle the people, and “there is no need for consulting.”

“That’s not private land, it’s a trust,” Bhasikiti told the Daily News. “They can’t claim title to the land. The leaders decided to have it in trust for the people. We were given permission by minister of Lands.”

Madonko said Bhasikiti was “unleashing the army on our property.”

“We have complained to the ministry of Lands and they are saying the President will decide on the matter,” Madonko said.

“But Bhasikiti’s midnight schemes are going ahead in full steam on the ground.”

Bhasikiti said: “Why should the army come? There is no conflict. Why do we need the army?”

Madonko said the Chingwizi saga has all the makings of a group of money-minded politicians taking advantage of the trust thrust upon them by the government.

“Our democratic systems have been badly tampered with and the leaders we have in office are not people-oriented, they are driven by capitalistic gains,” he said.

Madonko called on Mugabe to intervene and save the expropriation of Nkomo’s land.

“Our only hope as DTZ is the President — we are really sending stress signals to him to save us from Bhasikiti,” he said.

“We are not opposed to the need to resettle people, but we cannot do it in a manner that annihilates Nkomo’s legacy. This ranch was one of Nkomo’s favourite projects and for a long time we did not have money to kick off — now we do have investors and his legacy can be realised in full.”

The Chingwizi ethanol project that was planned by DTZ was expected to create 5 000 jobs while at least 2 000 small-scale sugarcane farmers around the area would benefit by supplying their crop to the ethanol plant.

Madonko said Bhasikiti’s planned expropriation of Nkomo’s sugar cane farm was an attack on the late veteran nationalist’s legacy.

“When Josh (Nkomo) passed on, his heart was very sore,” Madonko said.

“He often spoke about his fear that the President is surrounded by wolves in sheep skin and today the developments in Chingwizi have brought this out in the open. Chingwizi concerns us greatly as the Development Trust of Zimbabwe because it forms part of Nuanetsi Ranch, the property that Josh left in our care.”

Bhasikiti was recently in the news for the wrong reasons after he allegedly stopped opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai from visiting the Chingwizi camp dwellers with relief aid.

 

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15 comments on “Minister grabs Nkomo’s land
  1. publicprotector says:

    A little knowledge shouting propaganda again!
    I was a friend of Nkomo’s and laterally bought his former farm that was confiscated by government due to weapons being buried and found on it, prior to him becoming vice President.
    I regularly visited him at his home in Highfield, Harare.
    If the journalist wishes to promote propaganda to make himself look knowledgeable rather than the dim mal-content he is, please pick on someone else rather than involve Nkomo in your twisted rhetoric.

    • zim reeper says:

      @ publicprotector you clearly have something against journalists.In every dictatorship half baked communist or african country, what is the most hated despised arms of a true democracy.THE PRESS why ? becAuse they tell the truth about their thieving corrupt self serving governments.(ring any bells PP the dimwit)Lets see proof of you actually paying for the farm you zanupf goon!!!!!!!!!!!11

  2. Dube says:

    Strange fellow. Bought his friends farm after it was confiscated by the Government. Interesting. I would never do that to a friend.

  3. @publicprotector you insult our intelligence. I too knew Joshua Nkomo. When he went into the unity accord as most of the Ex Zapu cadres will tell you he had a hope of getting back all the properties that were taken away from Zapu and the Zipra cadres like Glass Castle and so on. Nkomo did not want these ex combatants to siphon on the country. That is why they bought all these properties with money that wast put together. Had Zanu not put their dirty hands in this project these people could have touched the sky.

    Zipra veterans yesterday demanded the immediate eviction of 50 families from Castle Arms Motel on the outskirts of Bulawayo during Nitram Investment’s annual general meeting.

    SEE BELOW ZANU’S CORRUPTION

    About 200 veterans were discussing the issue of several Zipra properties seized by President Robert Mugabe’s government soon after independence as it began a crackdown against PF Zapu.

    At least 50 families stay at the Castle Arms Motel, which is among the properties seized by the government.

    The families pay $60 a month in rentals to unknown people and the money does not benefit the veterans, some of them living in poverty.

    “There are people who stay in this property for free yet we have a lot of our member’s children who have no places to stay,” Simeon Ncube, a former Zipra fighter said.

    “This pains me most and if peace has to prevail with us these people must be thrown out now. We know that some people are benefiting from these people.”

    However, to pacify the angry war veterans Nitram board member Pastor Khupe said they to reregister the company formed by the Zipra fighters and would soon be taking legal action against people illegally holding onto their property.
    “We now have the mandate to talk about these properties after we were registered as board members,” he said.
    “It is not proper for us to just say now move out to these people as the law says one has to be given three months’ notice of eviction. We have since drafted the notice and we will be serving the tenants in time.”
    Nitram chairman Hillary Mhlanga said his board had visited several Zipra properties on a fact-finding mission.

  4. Roving Ambassador says:

    Thanks Doc for telling it as it is. My understanding is ,some of these arms people keep bringing up were planted by Mnangagwa.
    And to tell the truth, both Zanla and Zipra had arms caches I’ll over the place because they could not trust General Walls.
    If you know the history of ZANU, you would never trust it like Tsvangirai did.

  5. Bambazonke says:

    Are the beneficiaries of age !!!!! Land reform . It’s a pity the Matabele didn’t move towards Harare with spears at the term of 1900 this sh.t would never have happened

  6. It just makes me mad that someone can tell such a lie and admit that he actually bought his friends farm at an auction. We all know what happened to Tongogara and that Nkomo had to flee the country dressed as a woman. Luckily enough at that time there was intelligence within the BSAP and Zipra who new that an assassination was on the cards. Then this clown starts claiming that he was a friend to Nkomo. This was never a Ndebele Shona thing. He wanted to eliminate all opposition and that happened to be the Ndebeles who refused to vote for him. At the time Smiths Army was still the main force with the strength. He would cleverly retire most of the Army and then target the White farmers.

  7. zanupf fear me says:

    Guess why I’m laughing loudly

  8. nyoni says:

    Nkomo did what was best for all Zimbabweans. Zipra were the best fighters in the field and could take on Zanla anytime. This mortified Zanu and still does thus the ongoing assault. Robert knows this and knows to the true father of Zimbabwe was JOSHUA NKOMO. Pasi ne zanu and RGM

  9. David Mutambirwa says:

    There is need to holistically deal with the past conflicts for sustainable development.

  10. Expat says:

    You have all missed the point. this Property was purchased by DTZ for a very Substantial amount, they have struggled for a number of years to settle their business, and finally they have an investor with real plans. Point is wholly owned by indigenous however not shona not zanu pf so of course will be targeted as they do not fall into the zanu criteria. The directors of Tongaat Hulett i can quiet believe, the MD and his crew have been complicit in the downfall of the sugar producing industry and have a long association with the dim – witted Kudakwashe Bhasikiti. In fact i am pretty sure these guys had a lot to do with getting Bhasikiti into office in the first place, just so they had someone in their pocket for exactly this reason. Of course there is no love lost between Tongaat and the investor at Nuanetse as there will be competition in production and of course it is the same investor that is involved at Chisembanji and middle Sabi ARDA estates. And despite his ethics at least it is one operation that brings something positive to the Zimbabwean economy! This is where there is a problem Tongaat group have declining production – Opposing company has increasing production in sugar cane!

  11. BAMBANANI SIZWESAKITHI says:

    This Bhasikiti is an empty basket as hes name says it all. Of all the vast tracks of land they have taken from the white farmers, still they are not satisfied. Now they want land belonging to the dead and defenseless.

    Satsho isintu sathi “Nembala umthakathi kadeli”

  12. Petal says:

    including the late Gadaffis property they are just greedy theiving scumbag swines

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