Chiyangwa, land barons square off

Philip Chiyangwa

Philip Chiyangwa

Herald Reporters
Five men purporting to be representatives of Southlea Park residents risk arrest after property owner Dr Philip Chiyangwa reported them to the police for interfering with the company’s operations.

The land is owned by Sensene Investments – a subsidiary of Pinnacle Property Holdings owned by Dr Chiyangwa.

In a police report filed with Waterfalls Police on Thursday, Dr Chiyangwa said Mr Tenson Khumbula, Mr Clever Pindurai, Mr Robson Kazetete, Mr Nathan Nyambuya and another man only referred to as Mr Kaseke had no standing to interfere with operations in Southlea Park since he owned the land.

The five, who come under the banner of the Southlea Park Home Owners Association, addressed the media on Thursday and claimed to have filed a court application seeking clarity on the ownership of Odar Farm, on which Southlea is built.

Dr Chiyangwa says the ownership was settled fully in September last year after the Government made it clear that it was returning the farm to his company.

Former acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Retired Colonel Joseph Mhakayakora wrote to the Pinnacle Property Holdings executive chairperson advising him of the Government decision to return Odar Farm to Sensene Investments.

“Government of Zimbabwe has resolved to return the Farm Odar to Sensene Investments (Private) Limited – a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinnacle Property Holdings (Pvt) Ltd,” he said on December 19, 2014.

“Sensene will receive compensation directly from the occupants and pass ownership accordingly.”

Rtd Col Mhakayakora wrote another letter to the director of the Civil Division in the Attorney-General’s Office on February 6, 2015 confirming the Government’s position.

The compensation agreement was signed between Sensene Investments and Odar Housing Development Consortium in September last year, bringing to an end the long-drawn dispute that saw suspected land barons being arrested.

OHDC chairperson Mr Benny Matenga signed the deed of settlement on behalf of the consortium, while Dr Chiyangwa represented Sensene Investments.

They agreed that beneficiaries would buy the land at $7 per square metre, translating to about $42,4 million for the 605 hectares of land.

Said Dr Chiyangwa: “These people have ignored directives by the Government and have disrupted operations on my land, illegally selling stands on my property, settled themselves on the property illegally, harassing genuine stand purchasers lawfully settled on the land, holding illegal meetings without police clearance and forcing bona fide residents not to pay for their stands.”

“The above mentioned and others have continued causing havoc on my land even though they were aware of the illegality of their actions and also know that the property is my private property.

“One Tenson Khumbula has already been arrested on the same charges and is currently on bail pending trial and has continued with these illegal activities in violation of bail conditions set on him.”

Dr Chiyangwa said that the only people that he would engage were representatives of Odar Housing Development Consortium whom he entered into an agreement with.

“These people have no case at all because they do not even have any properties or stands registered in Southlea Park,” he said. “So, how do they claim to represent residents who have stands?”

Dr Chiyangwa dismissed claims by the group that he had sent final demand letters to the residents to pay up their dues.

“That is not true at all. Those residents pay $53 per month for 10 years, which is very favourable. There is no property in this town where people can buy stands for that cheap price,” he said.

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