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Zanu-PF councillor in farm wrangle

by Staff reporter
30 Jul 2020 at 09:04hrs | Views
A ZANU-PF councillor in ward 14, Muzvezve constituency, Mashonaland West province is embroiled in a farm wrangle with a Chegutu family after he allegedly "stole" the land using political muscle.

The councillor, Tawanda Dzviti allegedly grabbed the 18-hectare Plot 33 under Whalley Ranch in 2008 after the owner, Jethro Mwinde died.

Mwinde was given the farm in 1996 and left it to his family when he passed away.

The Mwinde family is now fighting to regain control of the farm with spokesperson Matthew Ndoro, saying the Zanu-PF councillor took advantage of Mwinde's death to grab the farm.

"Dzviti took advantage of my father-in-law's death and now, he is claiming the farm is his when he doesn't even have the papers," Ndoro said.

"The land was allocated to Jethro in 1996. In 2012 and 2013, Blessed, who is the firstborn, visited district offices to claim the land and in 2014, he claimed ownership of the farm."

He said authorities have since acknowledged the Mwindes as the rightful owners despite Dzviti's claims.

Dzviti, however, accused Ndoro of lying.

"It is a lie. In 2006, Kadoma Rural District Council did a land auditing and of the six owners of the six plots under Whalley Ranch Farm, five had defaulted paying taxes. The plots were reallocated to others, who included myself. I was then given a confirmation letter by Kadoma Rural District Council in 2008," he said.

"I have been farming there from 2008 to 2013 without any challenge. The problem came when I wanted to contest for ward 14 against the then councillor, one Mrs Nhariro. That is when people started to look for Mwinde's son to occupy the plot, but it had been taken from the family in 2006."

Dzviti said he approached the lands committee and was promised a new farm that never came before he went to the High Court.

"The court summoned us three times and a judgment ruled in my favour in 2016 declaring me the landowner because Blessed was never available," he said.

Ndoro, however, told NewsDay that his family never received summons from High Court, describing Dzviti as a liar.

"When a farm has a new owner, the Lands ministry cancels the previous offer letter," Ndoro said.

"Ours was never cancelled and who did he go to the court with because we never received summons. If you go to the lands office right now, the name which appears is ours. Where did he get the offer letter that he claims he has?" he asked.

Source - newsday