…as Zanu PF members invade Mugabe’s farm in Norton
PART of former president Robert Mugabe’s Highfield Farm in Norton has been invaded by suspected Zanu PF supporters as the onslaught against the former first family by his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa continues.
Family sources confirmed the invasion, saying the invaders were already farming on a piece of land which Mugabe acquired after the land reform programme.
The main Highfield Farm near Darwendale Dam was purchased by the former first family before the 2000 land reform, a family member said.
“The late former president bought that farm before the land reform programme. There is a part extended after the land reform programme. This is the part which was invaded,” said a family member.
“They are targeting the Mugabe family and I do not know if it is now government policy to go after the former president’s family’s assets.”
“Mugabe went through a lot during the land reform programme and if anything the former first family suffered. They are still on the EU sanctions and now find themselves losing land from Mnangagwa which is very sad,” the family member said.
Mugabe, the chief architect of the land reform programme, was often accused of using brute force to hound out white farmers.
The bloody land reform programme brought Zimbabwe’s property rights and civil liberties into sharp focus, drawing international criticism.
Zimbabwe would eventually be placed on sanctions which are still haunting the country years after his remains were interred in a courtyard at his rural Zvimba home.
The regime led by his long-time mentee did not take long to go after his property, including vast tracts of land which the nonagenarian leader had amassed for himself during his 37-year iron-fisted stay in power.
“I do not know what kind of country is this where the former president’s family is haunted by the state.
“There are many farms that are not occupied, but they go for Mugabe’s land. You wonder if there is a policy to target Mugabe,” the family member told The NewsHawks.
“It might excite them, but it has far-reaching consequences because investors see,” the family member added.
“The problem is that if you are a foreign investor, you look at a lot of things — the rule of law, the sanctity of contracts and how the courts can be used to enforce such. But if the properties of the former president are not safe, would you come and invest?”
Mnangagwa’s regime has used land grabs to punish the family of the late former president Mugabe.
Gold panners, with the acquiescence of the authorities, have invaded the Mugabe family’s sprawling farmland in Mazowe and installed a gold milling plant.
Aerial pictures of the estate show massive destruction and unregulated mining on the farm, situated in the heart of Mazowe, with sources saying powerful Zanu PF officials oversee the disruptive activities.
Gold mining activities have gone on for months, while attempts to evict the panners from the estate are proving futile.
“You have a former president who was the frontrunner of the land reform programme, he dies and the next thing you go after his farms. Any serious investor would look at what is happening.”
Some of Mugabe’s closest relatives have also been hounded off their farms, with Walter Chidhakwa’s wife also losing her farm to Zanu PF officials.
Chidhakwa’s wife lost 250 hectares and is left with 181 hectares of less fertile land. The late Robert Zhuwawo, Mugabe’s nephew, two years ago lost his farm to Sports minister Kirsty Coventry. Coventry snatched Zhuwao’s Cockington Farm in Zvimba.
Grace’s sister Shuvai Gumbochuma also lost her Kachere Farm in Concession to a top Zanu PF official in 2018.
Former Higher and Technology minister, Jonathan Moyo’s farm was grabbed during the late Lands minister Perrance Shiri’s tenure. He is still locked in a legal battle with the state, following the withdrawal of an offer letter for his farm.
He argues the move was politically motivated.
Two years ago, a group of war veterans also invaded exiled former cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s farm. Kasukuwere has been fighting in the courts to stop the land seizure.
“Anyone who was supportive of Mugabe is losing their farms, even his sister Sabina who died a long time ago, lost her farm too,” the family member said.
“I do not think I would support anyone who would go after Mnangagwa’s properties after he dies. It is never logical. For me it is a banana republic.”