By Collen Murahwa
Government is finalising the transfer of Tanlallon Estate in Manyame to businessman and property mogul, Dr Phillip Chiyangwa, in compensation of land he lost in Stoneridge after it was occupied by city residents, an official has said.
In the deal, Dr Chiyangwa is represented by his firm Pinnacle Property Holdings that has been negotiating for the 586,896 hectares compensation on Subdivision A of Stoneridge.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Permanent Secretary Engineer George Mlilo revealed the deal in a letter dated March 31 this year.
Wrote Eng Mlilo to Dr Chiyangwa: “Reference is made to your letter dated 9th March 2017 and I write to advise as follows: Ministry is currently finalising the allocation and transfer of Tantallon Estate in the Mhanyame area equivalent in size to your farm Subdivision A of Stoneridge measuring 586,896 hectares as per agreement dated 5th February 2015.
“The portion of Amalish (measuring roughly 40 hectares) part of Subdivision A of Stoneridge where you have expressed interest to have it excised will form part of the settlement as discussed.
“Accordingly, we hope to have matters concluded as soon as possible. Any inconveniences caused is sincerely regretted.”
Dr Chiyangwa recently threatened to evict over 20 000 people who bought land for housing in Harare South from a land developing consortium after Government returned the land to his company Pinnacle Property Holdings.
Government wrote to Pinnacle Property Holdings confirming the return of the farms to the firm.
Armed with the letter, Pinnacle directed the residents to pay $150 per stand holder as registration fee before they could be told how much they would pay as compensation or face eviction.
The residents argue that they have already paid for the land to Ordar Housing Development Consortium made up of 56 companies and they cannot afford to fork out more money for the same stands.
Pinnacle Property Holdings bought the land from its previous owners, but Government compulsorily acquired it in 2010 after arguing that the company could not provide houses for low-income earners since it was profit-oriented.
The Administrative Court once confirmed the acquisition and allowed the housing cooperatives to continue parcelling out the land to house seekers.
But Dr Chiyangwa contested the decision at the Supreme Court, resulting in an out-of-court settlement with the Government and the returning of the land to his company.