via Chiyangwa, ZRP ban residents’ meeting – NewZimbabwe 02/01/2016
POLICE Saturday blocked Southlea Park residents from holding a meeting to deliberate on Philip Chiyangwa’s threats to evict them from the state land which the Zanu PF central committee member says belongs to him.
Chiyangwa, during the Christmas holiday, gave a two week ultimatum to 8000 Southlea Park residents to pay him $4, 500 each or risk eviction.
The flamboyant businessman is demanding compensation for Oder farm which was acquired by the state for urban development in 2006.
Residents say they want clarity from the authorities over the ownership of the farm before they start paying compensation to Chiyangwa.
On December 30, Southlea Park Home Owners Association leadership sought permission from the police to hold a meeting with residents on 2nd January and they were cleared.
But on 1 January, police reversed the decision and cancelled the meeting after being “directed” from the “top” to do so.
An official with Southlea Park Home Owners Association who requested anonymity said they were called on Friday and directed to cancel the meeting.
“The police (Mbare) phoned us telling us that Chiyangwa had told their bosses to block us from meeting with residents,” said the official.
“An officer said Chiyangwa said no one should hold a meeting at “my” private land,” added the official.
The association’s leaders have also been called to Mbare for a meeting with the police on Monday.
In September, Chiyangwa controversially took over the land which was being superintended by Odar Housing Development Project, a consortium of 56 companies.
The controversial Odar Farm was acquired by the government on June 16 2006 through deed of transfer 816/65 under government’s Garikai /Hlalani Kuhle programme.
The acquisition was confirmed on June 17, 2013 through an Administrative Court judgement.
Government in 2006, through the Ministry of Local Government, entered into an agreement with Odar for the consortium to establish a housing project and the arrangement was that the state would compensate the previous farm owner, ZTA, for the improvements made on the property and then receive its money back within 90 days from the consortium’s beneficiaries.
But despite the existence of these affirmations and the availability of an agreement between the government and Odar Farm, the state entered into another agreement with Chiyangwa on April 9 2015 to give the farm to Sensene Pvt Ltd, a company owned by the businessman.
Chiyangwa had been given the power of attorney by ZTA in an affidavit signed by Andrew Roy Ferreira on January 29 2009-three years after the farm had been acquired by the government.
The agreement between Chiyangwa and the government was signed by Local Government permanent secretary George Mlilo, but there was no gazette to delist the farm.
Mlilo has since declined to comment whether it was government position that Chiyangwa should be compensated for the state land which has not been delisted.