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    Saturday, 1 October 2016

    Police chief accused of benefitting from Tongaat land as demo is thwarted


    – A senior Police chief at Masvingo Central Police Station (name supplied) is a beneficiary of land grabbed from Tongaat Hulett hence her interest to thwart demonstrations against appropriation of that company's sugar estates.
    Chiredzi West MP Darlington Chiwa said demonstrations planned by four Chiredzi MPs', two large sugarcane workers' unions, churches and business against the takeover of Tongaat Estates were stopped by Police on Monday because one of the beneficiaries is a senior Police officer in the Province.
    The Mirror has tried to get the list of the 129 beneficiaries of the latest land grab without success. Both Minister Shuvai Mahofa and Douglas Mombeshora's offices which are organising the take-over have said that the list of beneficiaries is a State secret.
    Hundreds of people intending to join the demonstration on Monday were dejected to get to the venue at the Chiredzi Show Ground to find heavily armed Police from the Support Unit camped there.
    Chiwa said that the demonstrationswere stopped because Police was taking instructions from greedy politicians whose relatives and friends are the beneficiaries of the scheme.
    What has left many people baffled is that Mahofa and Mombeshora are pushing on with the land takeover despite an order from President Mugabe three months ago to stop their action because of the bilateral agreements between South Africa and Zimbabwe that protects foreign investments.
    "We have a problem with the Police after the Dispol Chiredzi changed his mind at the last minute and told us that he was no longer sanctioning our gathering and we should make another application. We told him that it was late but today we found police camped at the venue, chasing away workers who were gathering.
    "We tried to engage Dispol Chiredzi but to no avail. This is the work of Mahofa who is a beneficiary of the land at Tongaat. We are saying please be human and consider the lives of over 2000 workers who will lose jobs. What we are demanding is simple, we are saying the President said no one should take Tongaat Hulett plantations but they are continuing.
    "They want to cripple Tongaat Hulett so that they give thousands of hectares of land to a new investor who failed on another venture in Manicaland. We don't want corruption and we will fight it to the end. As a way forward we made a new application for a demonstration and that is allowed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The demonstration will be next Monday. We will not go back on this one," said Chiwa.
    Hundreds of people continued milling around town despite orders to leave by Police. They later gathered at Town Council grounds where they were addressed by the four MPs, Chiwa, Denford Masiya, Rtd General Kallisto Gwanetsa and Robert Mukwena and other leaders of workers unions were also there.
    During the Land Commission's visit to Masvingo on Tuesday Mahofa accused the MPs of being greedy as they benefitted from sugarcane plots long back and now want to deny others from benefitting.
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