Farmer refutes mansion eviction story

Andrew Newmarch, who owns New March farm close to Mugabe's mansion has responded to our story carried last week about the evictions by saying that those being evicted are "squatters".
"We the owners have not been told to vacate our home. The second home we had on the farm was

leased out to a tenant and he was given notice to leave but after we had come to an agreement with the legal developer,” Newmarch said. “This farm was originally designated after the farm invasions in 2000. It has since been allocated to a property developer. The compound originally housed the workers for the farm. Since we ceased farming and paid packages many squatters have moved in over the years. The people have been told many times they will have to move as this development has been in the pipeline for the past five years. They were officially given notice by the developer in mid June to vacate the compound. The only people to stay there now are those who still work for us until we are able to sort out other accommodation for them once the development gets under way.
“We have not been ordered to vacate the farm for security reasons and are not contesting the matter. We have in fact been told we may keep our home and continue to run our store.”
Dickson Jerera responded to Newmarch’s statement by saying: “That is very interesting. Squatters? There are no squatters here. We are all farm workers, including those who have already left. The issue here is that he (Newmarch) tried to resist but failed and is now negotiating to be allowed to continue running his shop as well as staying here.”
Others who claimed to have worked at the farm for many years said they had been being sacrificed by Newmarch and that they were not served any official eviction notices but merely told to vacate because of security reasons. They insist that the new occupants, some of whom are already setting up structures, are war veterans and state security agents.

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