War-vet grows mbanje at Bennett farm

MUTARE -- One of the war veterans who invaded Roy Bennetts Pachedu farm in Chimanimani was last week arrested for growing mbanje (daggar) at the farm that was once one of the countrys biggest coffee producers before the self-styled ex-combatants seized it.

According to sources at the farm, Givemore Muusha, a notorious war veteran in the area was arrested last Monday after the police got a tip from fellow land invaders that Muusha was in the habit of planting mbanje plantations under the coffee bushes that are still growing at Pachedu farm.

Muusha has been planting mbanje in coffee bushes for a long time and selling the illicit drug to fellow invaders and workers from surrounding timber plantations.

However lucky run out of him on Monday when a former policeman whom he had a dispute over the ownership of an orchard left by Bennett reported him to the police leading to his arrest said a source at the farm.

The source said following Muushas arrest, police recovered 35 mbanje plants in the coffee bushes and some undisclosed twists of Mbanje at his pole and dagger shack.

Muusha, who has been fingered in several cases of political violence against MDC supporters, caused a stir during the farm invasions when he occupied Bennetts main farmhouse before ARDA officials chucked him out of the house.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from Chimanimani police were all in vein as the landlines were down due to heavy rains that have been pounding the area since last week.

Bennett, who is treasurer general of the MDC-T party, was evicted from the farm sometime in 2005. He is living in South Africa after fleeing political persecution in Zimbabwe.

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