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NRZ, war vet deal fails to take off for the past 20 years

by Staff reporter
12 Oct 2023 at 17:53hrs | Views
A JOINT agricultural project between the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and Bulawayo-based war veteran Phathakahle Dube has failed to take off for the past 20 years.

Dube, who owns PKD Malindi (Pvt) Limited company, signed a joint venture agreement with NRZ in June 2003 to engage in farming activities at plot 5 Woolandale Estate in Khami, Bulawayo. However, the project suffered a stillbirth after the property was invaded by 53 illegal settlers.

The plot belongs to NRZ and its late general manager Mike Karakadzai had okayed the deal which has since left Dube in a quandary, shuffling from one office to the next seeking assistance, with little success.

Yesterday, Dube said he was frustrated by the lack of progress in evicting the invaders in order to allow the project to commence.

In September 2018, Dube  and the NRZ were granted an eviction order to remove the illegal settlers from the farm, but efforts to evict them were futile. After failing to evict the invaders, Dube approached the then Defence and War Veterans ministry for assistance in November 2022.

In response, the then secretary in the ministry Mark Grey Marongwe, wrote to the new NRZ general manager Respina Zinyanduko, seeking clarification on the matter.

"We note that the NRZ is in a joint venture with Dube which was duly entered and signed between yourselves on June 30 2003 for purposes of agricultural activities. It is regrettable to note that no meaningful farming activities have taken place owing to the presence of illegal settlers who have disrupted farming operations since 2003," Marongwe wrote.

"We, therefore, implore your office as the owners of the land in dispute to exercise lawful authority in evicting these illegal squatters to enableour member to freely participate in government programmes aimed at enhancing national food security."

On May 3, 2023, Zinyanduko wrote to permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Theodious Chinyanga.

She said NRZ and PKD Malindi have been seeking to execute the eviction order without success and the illegal settlers still occupy the property.

On October 3, 2023, a legal advisor for war veterans affairs, one BC Maposa, wrote to the NRZ saying: "Such a scenario has unduly prejudiced and disadvantaged Dube who could not, owing to the prevailing situation, partake and participate in government programmes and schemes meant to empower veterans of the struggle."

Source - southern eye
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