18 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Exclusive - Zim Govt, Company Tussle Over Resettlement

Masvingo — THE Zimbabwean government and a private company formerly owned by a party led by country's late Vice President have clashed over government plans to relocate people from a transit camp to land the company reportedly owned.

According to information made available to CAJ News, the government plans to relocate people from Chingwizi transit camp into the Nuanetsi Ranch, which Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) owned.

The late Vice President Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU formerly owned DTZ.

Tempers have flared in the area after DTZ warned government of a possible litigation if it unilaterally resettled the people.

CAJ New is reliably informed DZT has since written a letter to government to explain why it was settling people from Chingwizi in the Nuanetsi ranch without first getting approval from the trust.

“The trust feels the government erred in just settling people in the area without getting approval from us hence we have told the government that it risks court action.

"We acquired Nuanetsi ranch long back before the land reform programme and the government is fully aware that the land belongs to us hence if the government fails to give us a reasonable answer then we have not option but to take legal action against the state," an official said.

The ranch is one of a number of properties government took over from the then-opposition ZAPU after its leaders were accused of staging a coup against the ZANU-led government in the early 1980s.

Despite the two rival parties forming a coalition that culminated in the formation of ZANU (PF), the properties were not given back to the owners. A revived ZAPU has embarked on a mission to reclaim them.

Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, meanwhile reacted strongly to such comments, arguing DTZ leadership was ignorant of the country's laws.

“Such remarks are just coming from a misguided person because it should be known by everyone that all the land in the country now belongs to government. The government has the right to resettle anyone on any piece of land provided it is within our country's boundaries, “said Bhasikiti.

Heavy floods along the Tokwe Mukosi basin in Masvingo displaced thousands of people.

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