GOVERNMENT yesterday compulsorily acquired more than 19,4 hectares belonging to a white farmer, Mr Anthony Livaditakis, who has allegedly been receiving protection from ZANU-PF Sanyati legislator Cde Blessed Runesu.
In a Government Gazette published yesterday, Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora said the land, acquired through General Notice 649 of 2017, is earmarked for urban development.
“Notice is hereby given, in terms of section 5 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10), that the President intends to acquire compulsorily the land described in the Schedule for urban development,” reads part of the Gazette.
Overall, the gazetted land measures 19,4 hectares.
“Deed of Transfer 1334/89. registered in the name of Anthony James Livaditakis and Shaun Momolee Livaditakis, in respect of certain piece of land situated in the district of Salisbury being Subdivision D of Marwede of Glaudina of Subdivion A of Gillingham, measuring nineteen comma four eight six hectares (19,486 2)hectares,” adds a schedule to the General Notice.
Initially, Government acquired the land through General Notice 34 of 2016 published on February 19, 2016.
However, it is alleged that Cde Runesu and Mr Livaditakis then came up with an agreement of sale backdated to February 1, 2016.
According to the agreement of sale, Cde Runesu was to pay US$1,2 million to buy the farm.
It is believed that the ZANU-PF legislator purportedly agreed to pay for the property, beginning with an initial payment of $250 000, which was supposed to be made on or before March 31, 2016, followed by subsequent payments of $250 000 by May 30, 2016; $500 000 by July 31, 2016; and the fourth instalment of $200 000 two months after the July 2016 payment. Though Cde Runesu insisted at the time that be had bought the farm, a labour dispute between Mr Livaditakis and workers at the farm reportedly showed that the white farmer was the real owner of the farm.
When the case spilled into the High Court (case number 1877/16), Mr Livaditakis indicated as at March 14, 2016 — more than a month after Cde Runesu is said to have bought the farm — he was still in charge of Pama Holdings, which owns the gazetted Pama Farm.