In what could turn out to be a bruising battle reminiscent of the purge in the run-up to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front congress last year which saw a number of heavyweights fall by the wayside, Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa could be heading for a show down with Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi.
Mahofa wants Mzembi out of Barquest Farm which she says is strategic to the province but Mzembi says he will not move out because he is not disrupting any production.
Barquest farm hosts one of the biggest hatcheries in the province.
“The correct position which I wish the public to know is that I was offered Subdivision 1 equivalent to 367.51 ha in extent of Barquest Extension, which was gazetted many years ago for the purposes of compulsory acquisition and resettlement by the government of Zimbabwe, leaving the Mitchells with an ungazetted portion in excess of 500 ha to pursue their business and family interests,” Mzembi told The Chronicle.
“On my portion, as I’ve already shared with the Mitchells, I’m going to develop a hatchery, abattoir and processing plant for a poultry venture whose business elements are on file with the provincial and national government. I intend to complement the production statistics that Cde Mahofa has alluded to and she has all the information in the submission that led to my being allocated the farm…
“In the meantime, I wish to advise all that I’m now the legitimate occupant of Barquest Extension that I was offered by the government and I will commence operations after due process….
“My muted silence on the matter in the face of a barrage of attacks from public media and colleagues in government and the party shouldn’t be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. There’s a modicum of communication that’s generally expected of us at this senior level both in government and the party that I’m observing, notwithstanding how right or aggrieved me may feel about certain issues at play.
“However, because this matter is already planted in the mindset of readers through various articles that seem to suggest that I’m grabbing a viable chicken business belonging to the Mitchells, in very brief remarks I wish to state my position to the contrary.”