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Chaminuka Provincial Newspapers

Government halts Proton Farm evictions

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MARONDERA- The Government recently halted efforts by incarcerated former
deputy Minister of Finance Terrence Mukupe to evict A1 farmers who were settled at
Proton Farm in Goromonzi district.

Since 2019, Mukupe who is serving time for smuggling fuel into the country, has
been trying to sell off the land for residential purposes, claiming that it belonged to
him and was in the process of evicting more than 40 Goromonzi farmers from Mt
Olympus Chishawasha B Farm.

For more than 20 years, the farmers have been living at the farm and most of them
are in possession of Government offer letters, making their settling there legal.

Through his company called Farmtel, Mukupe who is also a former Harare East
legislator, claimed that he was allocated the farm in 2016 by the Ministry of Local
Government and Public Works.

A high-powered delegation, led by National Housing and Social Amenities Minister
Daniel Garwe and the Minister of State for Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and
Devolution Dr Aplonia Munzverengwi, visited the farm and assured the farmers and
residents on the land that they would not be evicted.

When he addressed the farmers who were on the verge of being evicted, Garwe
assured them that they would not be cowed into leaving the farm.

He said: “In President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa, we have a listening President who
loves his people. You told me about your predicament and I told him all the
challenges that you have been facing. I wrote down everything that you told me and
presented your challenges to him. He listened and told me to come back to you with
his position and that of Government.

“Zanu PF is a party for the people and it has the interests of the people at heart. You
are the people and you are the party. We are here armed with a document that
clearly states that you are not going anywhere. This is your land and so, we are
saying that you belong here. We have informed even the police on the latest position
so you need not to worry anymore.

“We told President Mnangagwa that as a province we do not support these evictions
and he reiterated that people should be protected at all times. You are protected as
well and that is why we are here with this letter from Government, cancelling and
reversing Mukupe’s offer letters. As Mashonaland East, we want to ensure that no
illegal selling of land will take place here and in the province as a whole. Our land
must be protected.”

Dr Munzverengwi condemned illegal land sales, adding that those who are in this
habit will be arrested and have their day in court.
“The Government does not condone any illegal land sales or any other land deals. It
does not matter who sells land illegally. They will be arrested,” she said.
Some of the Proton Farm families who were on the verge of being removed from the
land by Mukupe hailed the Government for coming to their rescue.
Marita Chirere said: “This is good news to our ears. We thank President Mnangagwa
for this timely intervention and we can now rest assured that we will not be evicted
from this farm. This issues has been stressing me for a very long time and I my mind
was not settled as I pondered what could I do or where would I go if I were to be told
to leave the farm.
“At some point, a grader came and destroyed my groundnuts as part of efforts to
make me leave my piece of land and I am pained by that. However, I take solace in
the fact that the Government has assured us that we will not be going anywhere.”
Another farmer, Simon Mutize, said he will now concentrate on his farming activities.
“Over the past few years, I have not been in a position to use my piece of land
productively fearing that the crops could be destroyed any time. After this assurance
by the Government, I can now grow my crops and use the land in a productive
manner knowing fully well that no one will threaten to evict me and my family,” he
said.

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