CHIREDZI – The Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Dr Douglas Mombeshora has brought relief to Chiredzi Crocodile Farm by withdrawing an offer letter that is being used by Gilbert Nyasha, a villager from Zaka to invade the multi-million dollar venture.
The owners of the farm which is home to 21 000 crocodiles were getting despondent as a result of the invasion of their farm.
The community is worried about the 60 jobs and the US$2 million annually in foreign currency earnings that will be lost if the farm is disrupted.
The notice for withdrawal was served on Nyasha on April 4, 2017 just two days before he took the owners of the Crocodile Farm to court seeking an order to evict the owners.
Efforts to get a comment from Mombeshora were fruitless but Acting Chiredzi District Administrator Ndeya Nyede who is also chairperson of the district lands committee confirmed the withdrawal of the notice last week. He said he could not comment further on the matter which is before the courts but understands that the letter was produced in court as part of the defence by the Sommer brothers who run the project.
"I can confirm that a notice to withdraw the offer came through Chiredzi lands office and was served to Nyasha two days before the court sat. We await to hear the outcome of the court case in which the guy armed with an offer letter is seeking to evict crocodile farmers. The reasons cited by the minister on the notice is that officials made a mistake by allocating land which was already allocated to other people and they were given 7 days to respond if they want to challenge it" said Nyede.
Efforts to contact Nyasha were fruitless but Crocodile Farm Manager Wilson Gondo confirmed the latest development.