Church invades farm

The Zion Church of Christ has moved in to occupy a council farm in Chinhoyi after being promised fertile land by President Robert Mugabe early this year.

After his visit to the Bikita to the headquarters of the ZCC, one of the biggest apostolic churches in the country, Mugabe promised members land in Mashonaland West province. Church members have descended on Sangwe Farm, which was allocated to the council in 2000 for the town’s expansion.

In an interview the Mayor of Chinhoyi, Claudius Nyamhondoro, said Mashonaland West Governor Farber Chidarikire two weeks ago wrote to the council informing them of the repossession of the farm by government.

“We received a letter from the governor notifying us that the government was taking over the farm, but we do not know why,” said Nyamhondoro.

However, a councillor, who cannot be named for fear of victimisation, has revealed that the occupants of Sangwe farm are members of the ZCC, and that the council had leased the farm to a commercial farmer.

The situation has been further complicated by Mugabe’s recent instruction that farm land must not be leased. Numerous beneficiaries of his controversial and corruption-riddled land “reform” programme have leased the farms they were allocated back to commercial farmers. The government is now making some moves to reclaim land that has been leased in this way.

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