Chief Nemakonde in land wrangle

HARARE - Chief Nemakonde of Makonde District in Zvimba, Mashonaland West Province is embroiled in a protracted wrangle with a white commercial farmer, Douglas Stuart Taylor-Freeme, over a farm.

The chief, born Mende Wilson Nemakonde, was given an offer letter for Pondoro Farm  in 2007 by the then minister of Lands Didymus Mutasa.

The farm, held by Taylor-Freeme, is located some 20km outside Chinhoyi.

He has, however been unable to take ownership of  the 753-hectare farm as Taylor-Freeme has blocked all attempts to seize the farm allegedly through the local police leadership.

Chief Nemakonde claims Taylor-Freeme has the backing of top police officers in Chinhoyi, who he said, were siding with the white farmer in the case.

The chief has been relegated to the periphery of the farm while the white farmer has been utilising the larger section of the farm, located at Lion’s Den.

Taylor-Freeme and his workers, according to the chief, razed down staff houses built by the traditional leader last weekend and took over his maize fields.

A Daily News crew visited the farm on Wednesday and saw the destroyed thatched houses.

The houses were built opposite Taylor-Freeme’s house, which was fenced. Besides farming, Taylor-Freeme is also into boating and motor mechanics, a business he operates at the farm.

Chief Nemakonde told the paper that Taylor-Freeme was a “shameless racist” who is working with the police to thwart the land reform programme.

“What is happening is sad,” Chief Nemakonde said. “I got the farm from the government and l

always receive the presidential well-wishers inputs scheme every year and Taylor-Freeme is refusing to vacate.

“On Sunday, Taylor-Freeme sent his workers who had guns to come and destroy my workers’ houses.

“I was about to harvest my maize field before the attack and now it is impossible to do so because l am no longer wanted at the farm.”

The chief said he reported the matter to the police, who turned the tables on him, blaming him for the stand-off.

“The police refused to cooperate with me, saying I was the one harassing the white farmer,” the agitated chief said. “Ironically, some of my workers were arrested for allegedly beating up the white farmer’s employees, when in actual fact they were the ones who were beaten up.

“I am fully convinced that Taylor-Freeme is working with the police to undermine my efforts to take over the farm.”

Chief Nemakonde alleged that Zanu PF youths were working in cahoots with the white farmer.

“The top six (Zanu youths) once came to the farm and said I should vacate it because it belonged to Taylor-Freeme,” he said. “I was shocked that the youths were now going against the land reform.

“All this land belongs to me because l am the chief and yet Taylor-Freeme is refusing to vacate my farm. This is so bad.

“I look after a lot of orphans and I thought that this year the bumper harvest will go a long way in feeding them but Taylor-Freeme has taken over my maize fields and is telling people that it now belongs to him.”

Efforts to get a comment form Taylor-Freeme were fruitless as his farm guards refused to admit our news crew for an interview.


Comments (1)

Makomana, makafunda here? Why are you so ignorance of facts. Nemakonde is not in Zvimba. It is its own district, separate from Zvimba.

george bachinche - 11 May 2014

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