HARARE – Flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa has been compensated by government for the loss of his 587-hectare Stoneridge farm after he was given two pieces of land in Harare’s Manyame suburb and a portion of the annexed property.
This effectively puts to rest a seven-year saga and dispute, which started when President Robert Mugabe’s administration had chosen to seize the southern Harare estate on the grounds that the Zimbabwe Football Association president would not develop it for low-income earners.
“Ministry is currently finalising the allocation and transfer of Tantallon Estate (Tantallon)… equivalent in size to your farm Subdivision A of Stoneridge measuring 586 896 hectares..,” Local Government permanent secretary George Mlilo said in a March 31 letter, adding the offer was in line with an earlier agreement between Chiyangwa and the Public Works department or office.
“The portion of Amalish (measuring roughly 40 hectares)… where you have expressed interest to have it excised will form part of the settlement discussed,” he said.
While Chiyangwa had actually lost two properties under Herbert Murerwa’s Lands ministry in 2010, the multi-million dollar holdings were held under Pinnacle Property Holdings and Jetmaster.
And when Mugabe’s government sought to compulsorily acquire the Stoneridge farm – registered under the title or deed number 5021/07 – the swaggering businessman rushed to the courts, thus sparking a marathon legal wrangle only settled through negotiations.
As the saga raged on, Chiyangwa temporarily won some battles, but the Harare administration had stuck to its guns and in a battle that has only been settled with the Tantallon, and Amalish offers.