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    Thursday, 14 January 2016

    New Zanu PF chair grabs widow’s farm

    Nkulumani Mlambo

    – Newly appointed Zanu PF chairman for Masvingo Province, Ezra Chadzamira has taken over one of the last few farms owned by a white commercial farmer in Masvingo when he ordered Yvonne Goddard (68), a widow out of her Crest Ibeka Farm.
    Goddard who made herself a darling of the villagers because of a cattle breeding programme she runs for 106 villagers is said to have broken down after Chadzamira arrived to take over his new property.
    Sources said villagers tried to resist the move but were quashed by armed Policemen and soldiers who moved in to help in the takeover of the farm which is 10 km from Masvingo along Masvingo Mashava Road.
    Most of the agricultural land being taken over by indigenous farmers in the vicinity of the city is being used to develop stands for urban settlement which has been a big source of money for many politicians.
    The villagers wrote to the Minister of Lands and Rural Ressettlement Dr Douglas Mombeshora pleading with him to stop the eviction of the Goddard as she was giving locals a lot of assistance.
    Goddard refused to talk to The Mirror when she was approached for comment on Tuesday.
    Efforts to get a comment from Masvingo Provincial Lands Officer, Fortune Chimbishi were fruitless as his phone went unanswered for two consecutive days.
    Chadazamira told The Mirror that he had taken over the farm but he was not taking over the house. He surprisingly said that Goddard was moving out on her accord because she did not want to stay with blacks.
    Chadzamira said that he was not interested in the farm house which he said Goddard can keep.
    Ironically Goddard got the 120 hectare farm after getting an offer letter from the then Minister of Lands Herbert Murehwa. She got the farm after surrendering three other farms to Government for resettlement and those farms were highly productive in tobacco and dairy cattle.
    The Mirror went into the area this week and villagers said that Goddard was not frequently seen at the farm since she received the notice to leave.
    Most of the farms she surrendered to Government are now derelictwith completely no commercial activity taking place.
    The Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Dr Mombeshora wrote a letter to Goddard on October, 13 2015 informing her of his intention to withdraw the land of Crest of Ibeka farm measuring 121ha offered by the then Minister of Lands Dr Herbert Murerwa.
    Villagers led by Andrew Mahlekete the heifer bullying project coordinator wrote a letter to minister Mombeshora imploring him to stop the eviction of Goddard as the programme is benefiting over 100 small scale farmers.
    "It has come to our Notice the withdrawal of the offer made to Mrs Y. Goddard of Crest farm has been made, In this regard we would like to bring to your attention the following:
    "Since 12 February 2014 we started the livestock improvement bulling programme to benefit about 106 farmers from Heathcote Farm, Idhladhla Farm and Ibheka farm… the withdrawal of the offer will greatly affect the planned long term project.
    "We pray for the programme to continue as it will assist farmers to improve their livestock and food security and hence country's economy," reads part of the letter to the minister.
    Unconfirmed reports indicate that Chadzamira owns another farm in Mwenezi and intends to convert Crest farm into residential stands as it is only 10km from the city centre.news
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