The Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda)’s bid to acquire Kintyre Estates has suffered a major setback after the 60 plot holders on the estate took the parastatal to court to
reverse the takeover, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
The development comes barely a day after the quasi-government agricultural arm lost its case to seize equipment at Kondozi Farm near Odzi. The High Court on Wednesday granted Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe a final order to repossess all movable farming equipment on the farm.
The seizure of Kondozi Farm by Zanu PF through Arda and the abrupt closure of the horticultural concern adversely affected the company’s financiers, Barclays-Fincor, Zimbank-Syfrets and African Banking Corporation who had collectively invested about $37 billion in the project.
Plot holders at Kintyre Estates, about 30km west of Harare on the Bulawayo road, told the Independent that they had teamed up to file an interdict against Arda and the case is due to be heard in the High Court shortly.
“There is no way Arda or even government can take our plots because we purchased them,” one plot holder said.
The plot holders bought the land three years ago from a business syndicate that had purchased the land from a former white commercial farmer.
The syndicate subdivided the farm into 12-hectare plots meant for residential, commercial farming, and export processing zone activities.
Arda has already moved in its tractors that are preparing the land to plant wheat. Kintyre was at the centre of controversy three weeks ago after Minister of State for Policy Implementation, Webster Shamu’s visit to the farm.
Shamu is understood to have castigated the farmers for not fully utilising the land, accusing them of leaving the once highly productive land idle.
Arda has moved in on the pretext that it wants to restore the estate to its former glory.