SDA in land grab scandal

HARARE - Influential Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) is embroiled in a land row in Mazowe, where they are demanding the removal of villagers to pave way for the construction of their retreat centre.

Despite the fact that villagers at Plot 28 Omeath E Farm are the bona fide beneficiaries of the black empowerment land reform programme, the American headquartered church also lays claim to the disputed property and at one point instituted the arrest of nine people, the Daily News has learnt.

Sources say the church has the backing of a former government permanent secretary and some high officials in the department of prosecutions.

In spite of having been served with a directive by government to leave the piece of land in question, the church has stayed put and thus defied government.

According to a letter dated November 7, 2013 seen by this paper, Mazowe council — acting on instructions from the ministry of State For Provincial Affairs — informed the church that it had been allocated land elsewhere.

“This letter serves to inform you that your stand you were allocated by Mazowe Rural District Council is being relocated elsewhere.

“You shall be informed of the new location in due course. This is with immediate effect,” reads the letter.

Didymus Mutasa, the minister of State in the President’s Office also wrote to the church saying the SDA “should be relocated and the A1 beneficiaries should continue carrying (out) their farming operations peacefully”.

The letters from Mazowe council came after lawyers representing the SDA church had asked for clarification over the ownership SDA in land grab scandal of the disputed land.

Although another letter also confirmed Robson Muteti, who is now late, as the legitimate owner of plot 28 Omeath E Farm, the church is still rooting for the piece of land and caused, in December, the arrest of nine persons who include Getrude Muteti the spouse of the deceased after they had destroyed properties illegally set-up by the church.

Questions have been raised on how a church can build a resort in an agrarian region and also benefit from the land largesse, which is supposed to empower black Zimbabweans.

Chaotic scenes at farms in Mazowe have already put a dampener on this year agricultural season as families were kicked out before harvest time and had their homes razed to pave way for the rich.

President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace led the way when police ejected at least 900 families from Manzou and Mbuya Nehanda farms.

Already the 90-year-old president owns a dairy farm, a private school and another farm he grabbed during the chaotic land reform programme. Grace reportedly wants to set-up a private game park.

The displaced families, who have since challenged their evictions in the High Court, have been moved to Lazy Farm,  an infertile piece of land tucked in Concession.

The families’ dagga and pole houses had dirty floors but were well-furnished. The children went to school while parents tended to the crops — the backbone of their lives.

That was before armed police with leashed menacing dogs came in trucks and smothered nearly all the houses, and told the inhabitants to “leave in order to pave way for important officials”.

Comments (11)

This is gutter journalism. No responses from the church. Sources are unknown. The story is highly speculative. Please be serious. This is tatamount to mud-slinging

James - 30 March 2014

It seems as though the reporter is non other than a satanist bound on promoting his satanic masters. what was the reason of sying the US headquartered church is that a secret that the SDA started from there? If you have run out of news enda kubhora. Surely this is gutter journalism Shame on you.

baba vevana - 31 March 2014

i believe there is an editor at this newspaper........and he seems to be not the best in his trade , how can you allow such poor work go to print . The journalist seems to be writing the in which he is in which is contrary to what they are taught of separating themselves from the subject matter and be level headed...........America head quartered......please what is he trying to insinuate.......that some how America as a state has something to do with his.......shame on you

Blessing - 31 March 2014

Poor reporting, Reporter you are just contradicting yourself. Why just highlighting that they got a Letter to say their stand will be reallocated ? Sate that they were allocated that stand in the First place. SDA Church will NEVER Grab Land. They were allocated that Letter as evidenced by the arresting of the illegal occupants of the property. You also reported that the Church Sort Clarification on the ownership of the property which is the Legal thing to do. And what does the Head Quorters of SDA Church being in USA has to do with people trying to steal the stand from the Church ? Shame on you Reporter !! The Lord should have mercy on you.

Mutema - 31 March 2014

The devil is working overtime to deny the pepole of Mazowe to get salvation from God's word. But what I know is it is a matter of time before the game is over in favour of the all mighty.

mambo - 31 March 2014

are you really serious right now. Editor dou you still need a job and article writer seriously

kudzai - 31 March 2014

No wonder why Daily News is failing to get back in game. Wondered why Jonathan Moyo was saying your Journos are not qualified, I now believe it. Thats a one sided story. Shame on you Daily News.

Msaigwa - 31 March 2014

so by stating (an america headquartered church) what do u really want to clarify or to make the world know. poor journalism, u re only there to spread hatrade.

kedzaify - 31 March 2014

Ha jonarist hamuna nyaya kana ruri ruvengo rwe kereke yaMwari thuuu ndasvipa aya ndiwo matakanana enyaya mashaya zvekunyora here tikupei nyaya. shame on you jonarist na edhita wenyu.

hapana hapana - 31 March 2014

This article is just a shame on Daily News journalism. Daily News has always tried but in vain to be negative about anything to do with SDA church and in most cases going to the extent of lying in broad daylight. Recently they falsely published that their so called "Borrowdale based SDA church" failed to conduct Sabbath worship due to Simba's wedding. The masters of this paper being led by the devil, hate the truth that SDA church preaches and practices.

Truth - 31 March 2014

the chorus against the remnant of God shall grow louder and louder, signs of the second coming... Persecute them for heaven is in view. let the truth be preached, dont be offended but praise the Lord for the accuser of our breatheren is at work overtime.

elder - 4 April 2014

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