Zimbabwe boxer Manyuchi knocked out in round 1 by Dmitry Mikhaylenko of Uzbekistan losing his WBC Silver Welterweight title.

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Zimbabwean boxer Charles Manyuchi today (Saturday) surrendered his WBC Silver Welterweight title after losing to Qudratillo Abduqaxarov of Uzbekistan.

Manyuchi’s defeat came via a knockout in the first round, marking the end of his status as the WBC Silver Welterweight title holder.

The top Zimbabwean boxer had put the country on the world map after overcoming Dmitry Mikhaylenko but today’s defeat saw Manyuchi surrender the WBC Silver title.
The loss in Singapore puts a dent to Manyuchi’s hopes of challenging for the WBC Gold title.

Amir Khan currently holds the WBC Gold and Manyuchi had been looking to enhance his chances at having a shot at the top crown by defending his title.

It however did not go according to plan for Manyuchi who was knocked out in the first round on Saturday (today) to lose his WBC Silver Welterweight

Source – zbc

‘Cabinet Ministers alleging that Command Agriculture money could have been misappropriated are in their own right “thieves” -Mushowe

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IN APPARENT REFERENCE TO JONATHAN MOYO, MINISTER MUSHOWE SAID ‘Cabinet Ministers alleging that Command Agriculture money could have been misappropriated are in their own right “thieves” that are known to have embezzled State funds’
 
Zanu-PF candidate confident ahead of Mwenezi by-election
Command Agriculture critics are thieves themselves: Mushohwe
 
Cabinet Ministers alleging that Command Agriculture money could have been misappropriated are in their own right “thieves” that are known to have embezzled State funds, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Christopher Mushohwe said yesterday.
 
In apparent reference to Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo who has been denigrating Government programmes including Command Agriculture on his Twitter account, Minister Mushohwe said Government policies were only communicated through his ministry.
 
Minister Mushohwe was speaking during a meeting with editors of various media outlets in the country.
 
“I am telling you that Command Agriculture is a Government policy. Anybody who says anything otherwise is sharing his or her personal opinion and not Government policy. Those who say Command Agriculture is being run by thieves, are the thieves themselves,” he said.
 
“I will give you a good example. If I go to my constituency and tell the people in my constituency that I want them to vote for me in 2018 and that I am going to come here next week and build a big dam for you they will all ululate, but it will not happen unless the Minister of Finance says yes the money is there. So, there are people who talk about things they are not supposed to talk about for one reason or another.
 
“So why do you worry about individual statements, which do not contribute towards the development of our country. Musha usina benzi ndewani, ndiudze? Mungabva mati musha wese ndewemapenzi nemunhu one?”
 
Minister Mushohwe said all indications pointed to a bumper maize crop this year, which was good news because it meant that Zimbabwe would not be importing maize this year.
He said the country was poised to export surplus maize this year, a feat that had eluded Zimbabwe for the past two decades due to external factors coupled with perennial droughts and the imposition of illegal sanctions against the country.
 
“The good news is that any maize exports will contribute to both foreign currency earnings for the country and foreign currency savings as Government will no longer be compelled to import maize and other cereals, which have done well this year. We are closer to regaining our lost status as the breadbasket of the sub-region,” he said.
 
“The combination of both good rains and the agricultural skills which our farmers have acquired and sharpened over time, vindicates the country’s land reform programme. It debunks the myth that the land acquisition policy which enabled Government to reclaim land, our land, from the few white colonial settlers and giving it back to its rightful owners, killed our agriculture.”
 
He said land reform was meant to correct a historical colonial grievance of land disenfranchisement for the Africans and empowering indigenous Zimbabweans as owners of their land.
 
Minister Mushohwe said the policy was beginning to bear fruit and the results from the tobacco sector and now maize sector bore ample testimony to the efficacy of that policy decision.
 
Denigrating Command Agriculture, in a message on March 6 following a story published in The Herald Prof Moyo wrote on his Twitter handle: “Report by @Herald Zimbabwe that ‘Command Agric exceeds target’ is at best premature & at worst needlessly false!”
 
He went on to post on March 10 that “1/2: Maize is on 1,3m ha: 1,1m is Presidential Input Scheme; 153,102.60ha is Command Agriculture & the rest private!”
 
Prof Moyo on the same date added “2/2: Command Agriculture targeted 400 000ha but contracted 247,035ha of which 191,124ha (77 percent) were tilled & 153,102.60ha (61 percent) were planted on!”
 
On March 11, he also wrote that, “Command is a tried & tested military concept. It is also a great in programming. But in civil matters command is an oxymoron & non- starter!”. Chronicle

Open Letter to Bona Mugabe Chikore

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Dear Mrs Bona Mugabe Chikore

I hope I find you well at your home in Singapore together with Simbanashe and the first son-in-law.

It is the concern that I have for you, your brothers and probably your mother that has prompted me to write to you. You safety and welfare is of concern to some of us regardless of what your father is doing to us. Unfortunately, it is only a few people who share such concern as most are a bitter lot who may not forgive and forget what your father has done to them.

It is because of such people who may carry the bitterness emanating from your father’s misdemeanours that has prompted me to give a small piece of advice in order to safeguard your future welfare and safety and that of the rest of your family.

In our culture, we all agree that our elders reach certain ages where they cease to be key decision makers of the family. We all know that the elderly entrust the making of key decisions to their children once they have reached a stage where their decision making capabilities have diminished. It is no doubt or secret that your father is way past that stage and should have now retired and be telling folk tales to Simbanashe and probably Robert Jr’s children. Because of this, the decisions that your father may be taking now may not be in the best interest of your family. Being the eldest daughter of Mr Robert Mugabe, it is your responsibility to ensure that the welfare of your family is guaranteed.

I am kindly asking you to please sit down with your father to highlight to him the consequences of his continued stay at State House against the will of the people. If you read history very well, you will realise how the families and children of leaders who have refused to listen the calls of their people to let go have ended up in untold misery. For your reference, few examples of dictator’s children who ended up in misery include Saddam Hussein, Mao Zedong, and Muammar al Gaddafi who perished in the wars their fathers started. The son of Joseph Stalin was abandoned to the Nazis and died in a concentration camp during World War II. There are many other tyrants’ children who ended up broke and living in poverty and obscurity. It is against this backdrop that you should tell your father that it is you and your brothers who are going to reap what he is sowing once he is gone.

We have heard your father confessing that he believes in you. I trust that he even listens to what you say. I am simply saying that please Mai Simbanashe, can you tell your father to give the reigns to someone else capable whilst he still can on his own terms. Tell him that this is the best time for him to let go so that your family can salvage the little dignity that’s left of your family. If your father goes while he still can, he will be able to negotiate his safe passage out of the State House. It is not safe for you and your family to wait for the people to drive you out while they are still harbouring the anger that has been brought by your father’s misdeeds.

The negotiated departure of your father will not only assure your safety and wellbeing but will also save many people. It is great that you are now also a mother that you now understand the pain parents go through when the welfare of their children is compromised. Because of your father’s misdeeds, many parents are bearing the pain of their children who are suffering at the hands of your father. Put yourself in the situation of those parents who have sold everything that they had to send their children to university only for these children to come back and start doing menial jobs.

I will not pen off without saying something about your greedy and selfish mother. It is unfortunate that you don’t have the best mother. Having a mother who is self-centred and does not care about the welfare of her husband and the future of her children is unfortunate. Your mother is the one who should have been advising your father to let go but unfortunately, she is the one advocating and inciting him to stand as the presidential candidate at the age of 94. She is only worried about what she is enjoying now without looking forward at the future consequences of her behaviour. Because of her egocentricity, she has failed to realise the kind of risk that she is putting you and the rest of the family in.

Mrs Chikore, please remember that all those other people who are purporting to be standing by your father don’t love him but are just hypocrites. Whatever they are doing in the name of defending your father is nothing but deception just to be protected against prosecution for all their transgressions against the people of Zimbabwe. These turncoats will not protect you once you father is gone but will actually expose you. They will deny that they were ever associated with your father once he is gone, but unfortunately for you, there is no way of severing ties with your father. Once they realise that your father is on his way out of the most powerful office in the land, physically or biologically, to secure their safety, the traitors will run to join hands with the people of Zimbabwe and claim that they were with the people in the fight against dictatorship.

Your father’s transgressions will follow you if you and your family don’t deal with this issue decisively.

I hope you will take my word and act wisely to secure your safety and future welfare.

Pass my greetings to Simbanashe, Robert and Chatunga.

Kind regards

Livingstone Masamba

PANIC STRICKEN SHOPPERS evacuated from Jason Moyo, OK Bulawayo after Easter decorations trigger fire sprinklers.

OK Jason Moyo street was yesterday flooded with water from the fire water sprinklers which forced the shop to close. The picture taken shows the staff sweeping moping water.

Panic stricken shoppers had to be evacuated from OK supermarket’s Jason Moyo Street branch in Bulawayo at around 5pm yesterday following a fire scare.

Confusion reigned supreme after fire sprinklers went off, dousing shoppers and stock with water.

A group of women who were among the first to rush out shouted that a woman had been burnt to death inside, adding to the uproar. It later turned out there was no fire, thus no one had been burnt.

Fire fighters said staff members hung Easter decorations on the sprinkler heads and triggered them off when they tugged on the decorations.

A vendor, Mr Zakes Zulu said he saw people rushing out of the supermarket screaming.

“I was just selling my fruits off my cart at the door when I saw people rushing out of the supermarket and dumping their groceries at the tills. Some women were just shouting that “kuyatsha kuyatsha” (the building is on fire), but I did not see any fire. The next moment, I noticed that there was a lot of water on the floor coming out through the supermarket entrance,” he said.

Ms Sandra Madzore, a shopper said she was shaken by the incident as she had started reminiscing about the Nando’s incident that killed two people in the city recently when part of the building housing the fast food outlet collapsed.

“I got so scared and I had just swiped my card to get cash back at the till. The chaos started and I was even scared to wait for my money thinking that something terrible would happen. I remembered what happened at Nando’s recently and it makes one suspicious of funny incidents like this. You know it was as if rain was coming down from the ceiling as the sprinklers went off.”

She said although no one was injured, she found the incident traumatising.

Security guards battled to control shoppers and to prevent looting.

The head of operations at the Fire Brigade, Mr Lyons Phiri said the incident was caused by a faulty sprinkler head.

“There was a faulty sprinkler head. Sprinkler heads serve to detect fires so that they can be put out even if there is no one in a building. The sprinkler head has a head that detects smoke, heat and fires, using alcohol in a bulb. When it heats up, the liquid expands and the bulb breaks, allowing the water to come out, to put out a fire,” said Mr Phiri.

“In this case this sprinkler may have been tampered with by staff putting up decorations in the supermarket and hanging them on the sprinklers. This may have caused the glass bulb that blocks the water to break and allow water to gush out.”

A supervisor at the supermarket who was working with fire officers told a Chronicle news crew that he was busy and could not comment.

“I’m sorry, as you can see; I’m very busy. I’m just too busy,” said the supervisor, who was referred to as Mr Njema.

The branch manager Mr Joshua Mzembi declined to comment and referred all questions to the head office in Harare. The head office phones rang unanswered. source-chronicle

‘Mugabe’s son in law, Chikore, reportedly has security officials concerned after taking over control of Bob’s close security unit (CSU)’.

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The son-in-law of President Robert Mugabe, Simba Chikore, reportedly has security officials concerned after apparently taking over control of Mugabe’s close security unit (CSU).
 
The officials are worried that the long-time leader’s protection could be compromised because Chikore doesnot have any known training in VIP protection.
 
Security chiefs who believe he is compromising the president’s close protection by interfering with the work of his security and protocol officers.
 
The development comes at a time Chikore has also taken over the day-to-day running of ailing flag carrier Air Zimbabwe, (AirZim) reportedly relegating chief executive officer Ripton Muzenda to a figurehead.
 
Sources said Chikore is taking major decisions, including those which should be the prerogative of the CEO.
 
“Chikore has effectively overshadowed Muzenda because of his proximity to the first family and the direct communication he has with Transport minister Joram Gumbo.
 
Sources also said the dysfunctional relationship between Chikore and Muzenda has paralysed the struggling parastatal, which is on the verge of collapse.Source – Newsday

The cost of Zimbabwe’s Opposition Coalition Leadership

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Zimbabweans perennially suffer from paralysis of electoral analysis. I am the first to understand why, because we are much too educated, yet totally uniformed on the basics of what amounts to be good, effective political leadership. We get engrossed and overwhelmed – even those of us who hang certificates adorned with college seals on the walls– with the misplaced notion on the synonymy of populist charisma and good leadership.

We now know that Robert Mugabe is an educated populist who, for fifty years, has pulverised us and the world with feigned cockney demagoguery. Yet on a leadership scale, he languishes precariously at the bottom rung with the rest of the world’s known, heartless authoritarian scumbags. Empirical evidence is in Zimbabwe’s eco-social desolation.

And so, as we Zimbabweans confront the matter-of-life-and-death question of who, among these names, is worthy to be opposition leader, we must cast away the demons of self-delusion, paranoia, antagonism and naivety. Let us not be bewildered by variety – it is the spice of life – but embrace diversity of current ‘leaders’ because that is what affords us the comfort of choice.

Forget the fifty or so political upstarts and cast your thoughts on these: Barbara Nyagomo, Tendai Biti, Farai Mbira, Gilbert Dzikiti, Dumiso Dabengwa, Simba Makoni, Joyce Mujuru, Morgan Tsvangirai, Elton Mangoma, Welshman Ncube, Jacob Ngarivhume and Maxwell Shumba.

Assuming I ask five million Zimbabweans on the proverbial opposition electoral payroll this simple question: “who among these twelve political disciples is worthy as sole opposition representative on the 2018 presidential ballot paper?” I would probably get a quick, dismissive answer based on emotion, superficial historical reference, partisan hysteria, fallacious analysis and at best ignorance.

Here is my entry point today: good political leadership – particularly coalition leadership – must carry a high cost. Those that feel – by commission or omission – are capable of being coalition leaders must accept the burden that we will put on them for failure to displace Mugabe.

They must know at the outset that five million Zimbabweans on the proverbial opposition electoral payroll, post 2018, will demand explanation why they have failed to assume power. The leader of coalition or opposition for that matter – must be willing to accept emotional, psychological and social retribution if not acerbic castigation and incessant denigration for failed liberation promises.

This time, it is not a matter of sitting at some high table in a well-lit hotel conference room, telling us and the world that ZANU.PF and Mugabe cheated, did not follow universally accepted principles of electoral practice, unfairly used state institutions, stuffed ballot papers or are merely refusing to transfer political power.

That is failed leadership. We will demand nothing less than accountable responsibility. Remember the Jewish story of a prophet named Jesus who assumed the burden of the sinful world and died for it? Nelson Mandela accepted responsibility and spent almost thirty years in prison. Have you forgotten about Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr? That – dear reader – to me is leadership.

Therefore, in responding to the question: “who among these twelve political disciples is worthy to be the sole opposition representative on the 2018 presidential ballot paper?”, I would propose a response viewed through a three-phase prism – the Attributive Process of Selecting Coalition Leadership (APSCL). The first thing we should accept is that good political leadership is value-driven.

We and the rest of the world were not wrong about Mandela being a man of integrity, endowed with great vision for his nation, truthful, honest, reliable, consistent, fair, a good communicator and listener, selfless, sincere, respectful, courageous, immune to rumour mongering, compassionate and empathetic.

To say that this value spectrum can be picked at university, in the street, town halls or bestowed by ‘large crowds’ at political rallies shows profound ignorance in what sustainable leadership is. Question: is one born with these values or they can be learned and earned? I absolutely have no idea.

Once Nyagomo, Biti, Mbira, Dzikiti, Dabengwa, Makoni, Mujuru, Tsvangirai, Mangoma, Ncube, Ngarivhume and Shumba prevail in this first APSCL scan, then we subject them to the twin-test for excitement and novelty.

Since year 2000, the five million Zimbabweans on the proverbial opposition electoral payroll have been inundated with the Mugabe must go mantra, ZANU.PF is corrupt, there are no jobs, Zimbabweans are poor, we want to be part of the global family, land reform does not work and so forth. In all subsequent electoral campaigns, opposition manifestos and reports have screamed hell about the unfairness of elections, Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, electoral violence, hyperinflation, contaminated voters roll and declining industrial capacity utilisation.

I am sitting here thinking hell no! Is my next opposition or coalition leader going to sing the same old boring lyrics? To make matters worse, between year 2000 and 2013, there was incremental decline in the number of voters, let alone the failure of elections to attract the cyber-crazy three million young people.

What novelty and excitement can Nyagomo, Biti, Mbira, Dzikiti, Dabengwa, Makoni, Mujuru, Tsvangirai, Mangoma, Ncube, Ngarivhume or Shumba bring to the electoral table this time around?

The last phase of APSCL assessment is what I call servant leadership culture – the antidote to authoritarian tendencies. Put in simple terms, Zimbabweans, post Mugabe, do not want another version of Joseph Kabila, John Magufuli, Edgar Lungu or for that matter, Paul Kagame.

Before they even assume sole presidential ballot paper representation: Nyagomo, Biti, Mbira, Dzikiti, Dabengwa, Makoni, Mujuru, Tsvangirai, Mangoma, Ncube, Ngarivhume or Shumba must sign a servant leadership social contract with Zimbabweans. Our memories and political wounds are still fresh about a despotic Mugabe-type leadership grossly abusive of the constitution. We know how he has desecrated and defiled the independence of commissions; how the military and the judiciary have been poisoned with patronage.

I was there when COPAC failed to limit Mugabe’s power in appointing and dismissing ministers; immunised himself against parliamentary impeachment as even some opposition leaders argued against presidential running mates. We are exasperated with strong man politics of divine appointees and unlimited terms. Any coalition leader worth their weight in gold must enter into an agreement that they will not be all that. This, dear reader, is what I see as the high but bearable cost of opposition coalition leadership. Rejoice Ngwenya

LONDON TERROR ATTACK, Clapham man (75) dies,bringing the death count to five victims so far

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Several people were ijured in an attack on democracy in the heart of London, West Minister Abbey after an attacker ploughed a four by four car into pedestrians on Westminister bridge near Westminister parliarment houses and Buckingham palace . The attacker and the police officer are reportedly dead and now a fifth victim, reportedly a 75 year old clapham man has died as a result of injuries sustained in theLondon attack. At least 50 people have reportedly been injured, 30 requiring hospitalisation in an attack affecting at least 12 Nationalities. More news to follow. photos-Teelegraph uk.

BREAKING NEWS: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, free after six years detention

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Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has left the Cairo military hospital where he spent most of his six years in prison, his lawyer Farid al-Deeb said on Friday.
 
An Egyptian court decided earlier this month to release Mubarak, 88, after his acquittal by the Court of Cassation for the death of protestors in 2011 during the revolt that caused his fall.
 
He was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder demonstrators, sowing chaos and creating a security vacuum during an 18-day revolt which began in January 2011, but an appeals court ordered a retrial.The former long time Egyptian ruler has long maintained his innocence in the case and has said history would judge him a patriot who served his country selflessly.
 
An Egyptian court on Thursday ordered the reopening of corruption investigation against Mubarak but maintained that the decision will not affect the decision of the public prosecutor’s office to release Mubarak.
 
The new investigation concerns allegations that he, his wife, two sons and daughters-in-law received gifts from the government daily Al-Ahram worth about $ 1 million.
 
In 2013, an judge agreed to abandon the investigation after the money was returned by the parties concerned, but the prosecution appealed.
 
Mubarak is also the subject of another investigation for unlawful gain, but has not been brought before the courts for that case newsday

‘I haven’t returned to Zim because I was threatened by Grace Mugabe, have nowhere to live and will get no assistance from police’-LEBANESE businessman Jamal Ahmed,

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LEBANESE businessman Jamal Ahmed, who is entangled an $1,35 million diamond ring wrangle with First Lady Grace Mugabe, has once again refuted claims that he is a fugitive from justice.
 
He claimed he had nowhere to stay after his properties were seized allegedly by President Robert Mugabe’s wife.
 
Ahmed made the remarks while responding to claims by Officer Commanding Crime, CID Law and Order, Superintendent Nyambo Viera that he was under investigation on several charges.
 
In his answering affidavit filed on Wednesday this week, Ahmed said Viera “must be one of the most inefficient superintendents in the police force”.
 
“I deny in the strongest possible terms that I am on the run and repeat that I left Harare to attend to my ailing father who subsequently died and that no one from the police had intimated they were interested in me,” Ahmed said.
 
“If as at October 2016 Nyambo Viera, who claims he has been conducting investigations since early 2016, had not even contacted me or attended at any of the premises to collect evidence, he must be the most inefficient superintendent in the entire police force… These are not investigations initiated in early 2016, but investigations by a captured police force in an endeavour to provide cover for the First Lady.”
 
The businessman said he had read “what purports to be the respondent’s (police) opposing papers”, seeking to deny to be joined in the property seizure matter. Ahmed said he was surprised at the absolute failure by the force to deal with the substance of the application and to provide supporting evidence that the police were investigating him.
 
“I note, with amazement, that an officer holding the rank of superintendent has not sought to take the court into confidence by clearly setting out what criminal activities he claims to be investigating, when exactly he commenced such investigations, who the complainants are, how far such investigations have progressed etc,” Ahmed said.
 
“I repeat that I am not on the run and the only reason I have not returned to Zimbabwe is that I have been threatened by the First Lady and in any event, I have nowhere to live. With the attitude adopted by the police, there can be no question that her threats are real and that I would get no assistance from the captured police force.”
 
He urged the court to take judicial notice of the fact that every report made to the police was recorded on receipt in the Reports Received Book (RRB) and as such he was challenging Viera to produce the relevant book where the reports were recorded.
 
“Only joinder would force the respondents (police) to place this documentation before the court. The lack of candour is, therefore, a good ground to join the respondents in the main application,” he said.
 
“…As the courts are obliged to do justice to all, including the police, irrespective of status, it is crucial that the police be before the court to explain the legal basis upon which the claim to have lawfully taken over private property and evicted lawful occupants without any form of due process.”
 
Ahmed also said to allow the police to “glibly hide behind investigation” would make virtually every owner of private property a sitting duck for the police “who can invade any private property, unlawfully kick out lawful occupants and install themselves on such private property rent-free for as long as they require free accommodation”.
 
The businessman reiterated that seizure of his properties was at the instigation of Grace following a botched diamond ring deal.
 
“I say the illegalities were at the instance of the respondents in the main application as the First Lady and her son (Russel Goreraza) had threatened the takeover of the properties and one of her security personnel admittedly supervised these illegalities,” he said.
 
In February this year, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri warned, through Viera, Beatrice Mtetwa, Ahmed’s lawyer, to desist from interfering with police investigations by allegedly helping Ahmed to play hide-and-seek with the law enforcement agents.
 
Commenting on Grace’s involvement in the matter, Viera said: “The insinuation that the police are acting in concert with the second respondent (Grace Mugabe) in the main case is ludicrous and meritless. The police are carrying out their mandate by investigating cases in which the second respondent in the main case is a complainant.”The matter is still pending. Source – newsday

‘Police destroy over 50 homes on Arnold Farm allegedly to pave way forGrace Mugabe, to expand her business empire in Mazowe’

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.Police yesterday swooped again on Arnold Farm and pulled down over 50 homes allegedly to pave way for First Lady Grace Mugabe, who reportedly wants to expand her business empire in Mazowe.

Some of the affected villagers — who were expected to leave a thriving maize crop after a season of plentiful rains — said over a dozen police officers stormed the farm yesterday morning and continued with demolitions of villagers’ houses to force them off the land.

They claimed that the police still destroyed their homes even in instances where the villagers were not at home, throwing many into destitution.

When NewsDay visited the farm on Wednesday, helpless villagers sat dejectedly beside their belongings pondering their next move while a thick cloud hovered above threatening a heavy downpour.

“Today (yesterday) they destroyed 50 homes. On Wednesday, they destroyed 35 out of the 143 homes on the farm,” one villager said.

“We don’t have anywhere to go. Last night, it rained incessantly and we had to salvage the remains of the thatch grass to build makeshift shelters for our children while elders slept in the rains. The situation is just hopeless. We want to move, but we don’t have anywhere to go. The government has not given us alternative land.”

In 2015 homes were also demolished and over 700 villagers evicted from the nearby Manzou Farm, again allegedly at the instigation of the First Family.

The villagers were later dumped in Rushinga, Lazy and Blagdon farms in Concession before they took legal action and got a High Court reprieve to stay at the property until they had been allocated an alternative piece of land to settle.

The villagers had been staying at the farm under the 2006 Rural Land Occupiers Act, but efforts to regularise their stay had been hitting a brick wall since they moved in at the height of the chaotic land reform exercise in 2000.

Grace, a few months ago, confirmed her interest in the property, saying she wanted to build a secondary school, hospital and Robert Mugabe University.

The Mugabe family already operates a thriving dairy project, Alpha Omega Dairy, a subsidiary of Gushungo Holdings, an orphanage home and elite primary school in the Mazowe area.

Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha last week indicated he wanted to check details of the eviction with Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora. He was not reachable yesterday for a comment.

A top Lands ministry official last week confirmed the farm had been taken over by the First Family and a Chinese firm to establish a blasting factory. By Everson Mushava, newsday.

photo-Evicted villagers seek shelter from the rains after their homes were destroyed by police officers at Arnold Farm in Mazowe

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