Chiyangwa land deal raises more questions

via Chiyangwa land deal raises more questions – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 5, 2015

BUSINESSMAN Phillip Chiyangwa is reportedly claiming ownership of Odah Farm through a deed of transfer obtained about three weeks ago while a housing co-operative claims it was granted the same piece of land by government in 2006, NewsDay can reveal.

By Everson Mushava

According to documents seen by NewsDay, deed of transfer to Sensene (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Properties owned by Chiyangwa, was done on July 8 this year.

In the deed of transfer, Chiyangwa was given the land by the State freely in the deed issued two days before Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo was re-assigned to the Home Affairs portfolio.

“And the appearer declared that the undermentioned property had been truly and legally granted and she, in her capacity as attorney aforesaid, does hereby by these presents transfer in full and free, to and on behalf of Sensene Pvt Ltd,” read part of the deed of transfer.

But papers seen by NewsDay show that the same piece of land was compulsorily acquired from Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) on June 16, 2006 under deed of transfer 816/65 when Didymus Mutasa was National Security and Lands minister.

Three days before government acquired the land, it entered into an agreement with Odar Housing Co-operative, a consortium of 56 companies which were given 605 hectares to develop the land into residential stands.

A memorandum of agreement was entered into between government and Odar, paving way for the co-operative to subdivide the land into residential, commercial and industrial stands using a subdivision permit, SL 736, granted on November 3, 2006.

In the agreement, government was supposed to compensate the previous farm owner, ZTA, for the improvements made on the farm.
The government would then receive its money back, within 90 days from the consortium’s beneficiaries.

No other money would be paid to ZTA by the beneficiaries except local government levies, according to the agreement.

After the agreement, in the formative stages of Odar, the housing co-operative’s meetings were held at the Local Government ministry.

They were attended by ministry officials and the housing project was also cleared by the Environmental Management Agency.

Chiyangwa was given power of attorney on June 29, 2009 by ZTA, according to papers seen by NewsDay and was now demanding compensation from the beneficiaries.

The “compensation to be paid should be agreed between Sensene and the beneficiaries”, government documents say.

“In response to your letter dated February 13, we wish to reaffirm that the contents of our letter dated March 2009 are still valid. Compensation should be paid to Sensene Investments (Pvt) (Ltd) who are the owners of Odar,” according to a letter by Local Government permanent secretary George Mlilo to Benny Matenga, the consortium’s chairman.

On December 19, 2014, Ministry of Local Government principal director Joseph Mhakayakora, on behalf of Mlilo, wrote to Pinnacle Properties saying government had resolved to return Odar Farm to Sensene and the company would directly receive compensation from the beneficiaries of the housing project.

But Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, on February 3, 2015, confirmed in a letter to Chombo that Odar belonged to ZTA at the time of acquisition.

Chiyangwa refused to comment on how he secured the deed of transfer two weeks ago and on how the land was “returned” to Sensene when at the time of acquisition it belonged to ZTA.

“Go to the various authorities that gave me, don’t ask me,” Chiyangwa said.

Asked for a comment on why and how the Local Government ministry reversed the ownership of Odah Farm, Mlilo referred questions to the Local Government legal secretary identified as Parenyi who also refused to comment.

“Go back to him (Mlilo), all issues to deal with land are dealt with at that level and above, I cannot comment,” Parenyi said.


  • comment-avatar

    Capitalism is just nasty especially if u do it to fellow brothers,sister,mothers,fathers and so on (country man). Come on guys there are better options of investing that money other than senseless grabbing of land to resale. Why we can’t have the idea of entrepreneurs if we all could emulate the Econet boss our country will transform in time for us all to enjoy our success. Its high the government should limit this land grabbing ordeal we have learn enough of it.

  • comment-avatar
    gonzo 7 years ago

    all the people talked about in the above are involved in the property in rayden drive borrowdale that was taken over a few years ago and are stopping anyone doing a valuation on the property so the owner has never been paid. They have gauards that carry guns to stop anyone going on there including the legal owner they are selling plots that do not belong to them,and you want to get outside investment best of luck roll on 2018. Perhaps could look into this one as well