By Nigel Pfunde
ZANU PF member of parliament for Uzumba and former Mashonaland East provincial minister Simbaneuta Mudarikwa has been caught in the ongoing land audit dragnet and is set to lose his family farm in Marondera.
The minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Air Chief Marshal Perence Shiri wrote to Mudarikwa on November 1 2018, indicating his ministry’s intention to withdraw and revoke his land offer citing that he was a multiple farm owner.
The letter also stated that Mudarikwa was sub-letting the farm, a complete negation of the terms in the offer letter.
“Notice is hereby given that the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement intends to withdraw the offer of land made to you in respect of Subdivision 3 measuring 67.50 HA of Wenimbi farm in the district of Marondera in Mashonaland East Province.
“The reason for withdrawal is that you have another farm in Mashonaland Central,” read part of the letter.
Mudarikwa was given seven days to respond and file his defence notice(if any).
In an interview with Zim Morning Post on Friday, Mudarikwa who is a known champion and advocate of mbanje growing in the country, was in a no-nonsense mood and hurled unprintable words at this reporter.
He disowned the farm and said he has no association whatsoever with the owners.
“Look here, I do not have any links to that farm, whose name was the withdrawal letter addressed to.
“Am I the only Mudarikwa in the whole of Zimbabwe, come on be serious. ,” fumed Mudarikwa before uttering vulgar words.
However, despite of his denial, impeccable sources told Zim Morning Post that Mudarikwa was offered the farm in question during his tenure as resident minister of the province.
“He (Mudarikwa) got that farm when he was resident minister and some of his children advised him to change ownership and transfer into another name but he refused,” revealed our source close to the family.
The national agricultural Land Audit which was conducted in the country’s 10 districts and 10 provinces between October and November last year and only covers 6 per cent of the targeted land.
Mudarikwa is part of the farmers that allegedly leased land without government approval.
Tendai Bare, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Land Commission that was in charge of the auditing process which involved over 18,000 farmers, is on record citing fraudulent land allocations and other gross irregularities that subsequently resulted in low agricultural output in the country.
The Land Commission recommended a thorough clean-up exercise that targets multiple farm owners.
Mudarikwa has managed to capitalize on the rich resources of Mashonaland East as he is believed to have interests in mining activities in the province.
Zim Morning Post understands that he has significant stake in Black Granite a mining company that he has a joint venture with the Utsiwegota family.
At one time, one of the directors Tino Utsiwegota was summoned to court over alleged failure to pay mining levies to Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe Rural District Council where Mudarikwa is MP. Zim Morning Post