By Itai Muzondo
There is growing public outcry over the recent farm invasion by the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi, who occupied the Helen Mitchells farm in Masvingo which was the major supplier of day-old chicks and eggs in the province.
Mzembi moved into Mitchells farm which is about 20km from town along the Masvingo-Mutare highway and put to halt a $3.5million chicken project which was producing 100 000 day-old chicks and 50 000 eggs per week.
Some war veterans accused Mzembi of being greedy and said he has failed to sustain projects at other farms he grabbed before.
“President (Robert) Mugabe is against multi-farm ownership but Mzembi is busy taking over another farm. He took over a farm near Stop Over but failed to sustain a chicken project there before he moved to another farm in Mwenezi where he failed to run a cattle ranching project.
“He tried to run the BW Supermarket in Masvingo town and failed again therefore, what assurance can one have that he will successfully run the Mitchells’farm? He is just being greedy,” said Kemson Nyama a war veteran during an interview at the Chiefs Hall.
Mzembi however, rubbished the claims that he is a failure before he started accusing this reporter of being used a certain politician who he said was based in Harare.
“What I did is above board; to say I failed before that is nonsensical. I know you are being sent by someone who is based in Harare who is fighting for my downfall. I will deal with you and the person who is sending you,” threatened Mzembi.
There were over 200 workers at the Mitchells farm whose future is now uncertain. Workers who spoke on condition of anonymity said there future was hanging in the balance since they do not know who to report to.
“There is no more hope here; we are not sure whether we will get our salaries since Mzembi took over. There is no more supervision on the projects and we do not know who to report to because Mitchells is no longer active at the farm,” said the worker.
A group of concerned local farmers was reported to have approached the newly appointed Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Shuvai Mahofa, over the matter and demanded that Mzembi be ordered to vacate the farm