‘I consented to farm size reduction’
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
MARGARET Zvinavashe, the widow of national hero General Vitalis Zvinavashe, yesterday said the decision by Government to reduce the size of her farm to accommodate a Chinese investor was a noble move aimed at creating 1 700 jobs and boost the economy.
Chinese owned company Sunny Yi Feng Tiles was allocated 100 hectares of land at Nockmallock (subdivision 2) in Norton to set up a tile manufacturing plant.
The Government issued the firm with an offer letter for 100 hectares, leaving Mrs Zvinavashe with 1 200 hectares.
The NewsDay insinuated that the widow had lost a “huge chunk” of her land under controversial circumstances.
However, in an interview yesterday, Mrs Zvinavashe set the record straight indicating that she had been consulted and agreed to the reduction of the size of the farm.
Mrs Zvinavashe said the decision was sound and fair considering that at least 1 700 people will be employed at the plant.
“As a mother and a patriot, I have no hard feelings at all. The land in question will be used for projects that will boost our economy and 1 700 locals will get jobs.
“It is better for us to share and allow thousands of Zimbabweans to get jobs to fend for their families,” she said.
Mrs Zvinavashe dismissed as false reports that she was forced to surrender the farm.
Instead, the widow said she was consulted and consented to sharing with the foreign investor for the good of the nation.
“The minister approached me and he explained to me that some investors were looking for land between Harare and the Norton tollgate. He told me that there was a policy of downsizing big farms and that if I was comfortable with it, the foreign investors would be offered part of my farm.
“He asked me to spare at least 100 hectares, which I agreed to. The Chinese investor was then allocated the land by Government. I was then issued with a new offer letter for a reduced farm size,” she said.
The Chinese company is setting up a tile factory which is set to employ at least 1 700 people around Norton.
By yesterday, 35 people had been employed, including drivers, welders, carpenters and general labourers.
Mrs Zvinavashe is one of the prominent farmers who last season sold 860 tonnes of maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
She is also into wheat farming.