Chaos at Beitbridge lodge

Beitbridge is under siege from a group of invaders who were illegally allocated farming plots at the wildlife conservancy by a ministry of lands official in the area.

Mutilisa Moyo allegedly allocated 75 plots at the conservancy to the invaders, some of whom are police and prison officers. This was despite a high court order interdicting the lands department from interfering with operations at the conservancy, which is owned by Ian Ferguson.

Ferguson told The Zimbabwean that his property was taken over by a large group of people, led by Elephias Seziba whom he identified as the Gwanda provincial officer for the ministry of youth development, gender and employment creation, and an Obias Ndou.

“Last week, a large number of people arrived on the property apparently made up of police and prison officers and others who were given offer letters to replace the so-called recipients who had declined to take up their plots,” said Ferguson. “The invaders headed straight to the cold-room where they took and roasted meat meant for our staff.”

They then held a meeting in the cold-room complex, where Ndou and Seziba instructed the conservancy’s workers to leave. The invaders have also been accused of stealing company assets, wildlife poaching and assaulting the workers.

Ferguson accused the police of siding with the occupiers and refusing to assist the messenger of court in removing the invaders.

“The police have not instituted any investigations or prosecutions in response to our workers’ detailed complaints and reports. In fact, the police now refuse to take reports or statement and workers are now reluctant to make any reports. On a number of occasions the workers have been arrested on trumped-up charges. On one occasion, they were incarcerated in filthy police cells overnight,” he said.

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