Mutare, March 10, 2015 – Six Manicaland families could soon be left without a roof over their heads after Mandi Chimene, the controversial Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs instituted legal proceedings that could dispossess them of their properties.
Chimene, who took over as Minister of State for Manicaland province in December has engaged Mutare lawyers, Mugadza, Chinzamba and Partners Legal Practitioners in her bid to evict the six families.
According to court papers filed at Mutare Magistrates Court recently, Chimene, who took over as Governor for Manicaland province from Christopher Mushowe, claims that the six family members namely Milton Munjengwa, Oliver Chinowaita, Jusa Showa, Tapiwa Goora, a Mrs Moyo and Mr Nechawawa are in unlawful occupation of Nyazura Farm Complex as they hold no offer letter, land lease or permit and have “baselessly refused to vacate the farm buildings.
Chimene claims that she is leasing the land from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and she is the exclusive holder of all rights and interest to all farm infrastructure at the farm complex.
Chimene, a war veteran who fought in the country’s liberation war is not new to controversy as since her appointment she has been ruffling feathers in Manicaland province.
In January, Chimene told ZANU PF supporters that she had evicted white farmers from some farms in the Headlands district whom she alleged were being protected by allies of former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
In February Chimene disclosed that her ZANU PF party was planning to repossess a commercial farm allocated to Didymus Mutasa, the ousted ZANU PF secretary for administration after the former State Security Minister denounced the controversial land reform programme.
The Manicaland Provincial Minister has already rattled diamond mining companies operating in the province that she criticised for allegedly reneging on paying the $10 million pledged by each of the diamond mining enterprises operating in the area under the community share ownership scheme.
Chimene also warned the diamond firms against employing MDC-T party supporters.
Critics blame the government’s violent and often chaotic land reform programme for the collapse of the country’s once productive agricultural sector. Most of the country’s productive white commercial farmers were stripped of their land during the chaotic forced evictions which commenced in 2000. 15 years later, the few remaining white commercial farmers face eviction from their properties after President Robert Mugabe issued fresh warnings against them last month.