Govt seizes farm from Mthwakazi leader

BULAWAYO - A top Zipra ex-combatant, John Gazi, has been evicted from his 1 400 hectare Honey Bird Kop Farm ostensibly because he does not deserve land from a government he wished to topple.

Gazi, Paul Siwela and Charles Gumbo — all members of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front, a secessionist Matabeleland pressure group — were facing treason charges arising from designing and planning the distribution of pamphlets viewed by the State as agitating for a public uprising against President Robert Mugabe’s government.

The State alleges the pamphlets, all bearing a symbol similar to the Mthwakazi Liberation Front’s symbol, could cause uprisings similar to the ones in Egypt.

Gazi’s farm, about 40km along the Bulawayo-Plumtree road, has been grabbed by the ministry of Lands.

He claims he was acquitted of the treason charges.

According to a letter dated April 19 signed by Matabeleland North acting chief lands officer one P Nkiwane, Gazi was ordered to move out of the farm.

“In our provincial land committee meeting which we held on February 17, 2016, I informed the committee that all the recommended beneficiaries at Honey Bird Kop farm have been advised to stop all operations they had started or intended to start on the farm until the minister of Lands has approved the allocations.

“The committee recommended that all the settlers should move out, including Gazi because he is an illegal settler,” Nkiwane said in the letter.

“The provincial committee also noted that you are facing treason charges which are still pending in the High Court because one of the co-accused died in prison cells and the second one skipped bail.

“In view of that, the committee believes that you don’t deserve land from a government that you wish to topple.”

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Gazi said it was unfortunate that certain people in Zanu PF were using their power to see him off the farm which he acquired from a white farmer some 15 years ago.

“These are serious allegations raised against me,” he said.

“I would like to elaborate on that because in their points they are just stating lies and nothing else.

“They are putting people back onto my farm despite directives from the permanent secretary in the ministry of Lands and from the minister himself Douglas Mombeshora and the director of resettlement.

“They got all those directives but they have continued to defy the land orders.”

Gazi said he has been living in fear ever since Onias Mangena forcibly moved on the farm.

“There were incidents where my life was threatened, there were people coming with unmarked vehicles, coming at odd hours and in the night, going to all corners of the farm.

“Unfortunately, police never act when I make a report. I am no longer sleeping at the farm.”

Comments (16)

Whilst we hate Mugabe , i dont think having a separate state called Mtwakazi is a good idea for these guys. We should learn from Sudan.

Big Meech Larry Hoover - 19 May 2016

This Mthwakazi Liberation Front is just nonsense. This is the reason why Africa is under developed because we always think along tribal lines. This nonsense at its best.

Medion kasvatutsa - 19 May 2016

dont wrry my brther let thm take vanemasimba we want to see the destination yacho hapana chisingaperi

AMOS MOYO - 19 May 2016

he should feel how that white man felt.Moreso this guy does not want his relatives to be married to shonas

jirafee - 19 May 2016

The way political developments are unravelling,definitely the secessionist cause is likely to gain sympathy from the people of this region.Once it gains significant support no one would stop it.Pertinent lessons should be drawn from Sudan,Ethiopia,Sahawari and many others.

Gen. Spinola - 19 May 2016

@jirafee,are shonas desperate to marry ndebeles?are yu implying shona women are not worthy of marriage?@medion,i bet my last dollar any part of zim that should seccede and be without shonas will thrive

hmmm - 19 May 2016

Nkiwane is myopic in his approach, that remark he made in the letter,that is, if it is true as reported,vitiates the whole administrative action of repossesing land from Gazi.What make matters even worse for his situation, is that he alleges in his letter that Gazi is facing treason charges. Gazi was cleared long back by a court of competent jurisdiction, does it mean that Nkiwane isn't aware of the out come of that trial?Because of those unwarranted remarks, it could be inferred that Gazi is being persecuted for his political beliefs which are guaranteed by the Supreme Law of the land.Take up this matter with the courts Gaz,i your right to occupation of the land could not be terminated on frivolous grounds.

Gen. Spinola - 19 May 2016

Its disgusting to read comments discarding MLF's Holy RESTORATION Agenda,some call it secession. Those against are hollow,you need to get deep into the justifications put forward. Again,RESTORATION is not synonymous with secession. MLF talks about RESTORATION not secession. Jeffrey Muvundusi shld do the right thing,tell the truth about MLF noma uyayizonda noma cha!?

Chrispen - 19 May 2016

Biti and Tswangirai were charged with treason at the same time and aquited. Are they going to loose their farms? This land issue is being misused. Mliswa is also threatened with loosing his farm. It means farms will never be productive if they are misused. The constitution forbids this behaviour.

bexilford - 19 May 2016

I like the way journalists try to mould readers's opinion. In this article this guy acquired the farm from it's original white owner. Acquired really?

Chitimkulu - 20 May 2016

ooh i see, so if it was called Mbuya Nehanda it was going to be ok but because it is called Mthwakazi its tribal, shame, from the way i am seeing from your comments guys, we Ndebele people have been reduced to nothing by you people, you take over everything in Zimbabwe as if its your country alone, we are all not dead we still exist, so please leave us alone and in peace, we never said anything bad to you so please. we are watching zvedu, dont think we are not, yes we are watching, recently the editor of Chronicle Mduduzi was transfered to Namibia and you put your own Madonko..we are watching guys and we not stupid...we will only pray to God to guide us...and it is now clear who the tribalist are now...

That guy - 20 May 2016

Somebody tell me; Whose land is this?? Straightforward Reasons please!!!

Tovela - 20 May 2016

@chitimkulu,are yu that idiotic that yu yhink that no blackman ever bought land from a whiteman,just becoz yu shonas are in the habit of grabbing peoples things does not mean gazi did not acquire it

jojo - 20 May 2016

Dabengwa and John Gazi bought their farms before the land grab period. In 2006 there was an attempt to grab the farms which failed in Court. There were further attempts in 2011 and 2014 which also failed. In 2014 there were attempts to grab portions of land which included Bulawayo city council land on the excuse that the land was under utilised. A land grab aught to go throw a court process for Zimbabwe to ever prosper. In UK they have Scottish and Welsh National parties yet planes do not fall out of the skies as they do in Egypt. The regional voices ensures that local and regional grievances are aired like the on going land grabs which many people see as destroying the local economies like the one which was recently settled by VP Mpoko when 100 villagers attacked a police station with spears and knob carries when they tried to arrest them from preventing a land grab by a chief CIO officer which would have destroyed a whole village economy.

bexilford - 21 May 2016

@Big meech@Medion I would suggest that you read the article from Senator Teresa Makone in Bulawayo24.com on 21 May when the senators visited Mat North on National Peace and Reconciliation. It is a shame that it is reported in Mat Media and not the whole country so that everyone can be informed about their feelings. The removal of Bulawayo Chronicle editor does not mean if people do not see or hear evil, that the evil is gone.

bexilford - 21 May 2016

So I'm the white guy that he "acquired" the farm from. With death threats and severely beating members of my family. Any questions?

Kyle - 25 May 2016

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