By Amelia Johnson|
Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe is to be given the farm in Mazowe which is at the centre of a bitter dispute with local villagers, Mashonaland central
provincial minister Martin Dinha has confirmed.
Dinha, who had earlier claimed that Arnold farm was a national heritage site in honour of Mbuya Nehanda, made a u-turn on Wednesday.
Sources said this was after pressure from Grace Mugabe, who now owns much of the plush Mazowe valley after forcibly seizing numerous farms without compensation.
“People are allowed to run private animal sanctuaries,” Dinha told a radio station. “The first lady has applied for a permit to run part of Manzou farm and we have recommended that she be granted the licence. Like any other Zimbabwean she has a right.”
Dinha said the 600 families evicted from the farm would not be allowed to return. He said plans were underway by the national parks and wildlife authority to start bringing in wild animals.
The evicted farmers’ lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara rejected claims by Dinha that the farmers had been given alternative accommodation.
A contempt of court lawsuit against the government was set to be heard on Friday.
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