Gunshots were fired, Monday, at Tabas Induna Farm in Ntabazinduna as members of the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) attempted to forcibly evict one Floyd Ambrose, who refuses to vacate the farm owned by the Davies and Parsons family despite a High Court order compelling him to do so.
Luckily no one was injured in the incident, where the MRP party was enlisted by Brian Davies and his wife, Carol to help them evict Ambrose.
The Davies’ were popular Ntabazinduna farmers whose surprise eviction in 2019 by Ambrose attracted the ire of former chief, Nhlanhlayamnagwe Felix Ndiweni.
Ambrose was given an offer letter by the Umguza District Council’s lands committee in 2019.
Tabas Induna Farm was purchased in 1953 by Carol’s grandfather, Jack Parsons and the farm was at one time the largest pig producer in Zimbabwe and is behind the Colcom brand.
The late Chief Khayisa Ndiweni (Nhlanhlayamangwe’s father) even granted the Davies family the authority to build a lodge on top of the Ntabazinduna Hill in 1992, a famous historical site that is revered by the Ndebele people.
The Davies have a court order which stated that Ambrose, who moved in two weeks ago, must vacate their farm by March 6, 2021.
Instead, Ambrose refused to leave but removed the Davies property, dumped it outside the farm lodge and moved his own stuff in.
When MRP party members arrived at the farm, they tried to seek an audience with Ambrose, to inquire why he was defying a court order to leave the farm but he ran away with two of his security men and one was armed.
To gain entrance into the farm, MRP members broke down the gate and chased the trio down a thicket within the farm.
As the MRP members were still pursuing him, two gunshots, presumed to be warning shots, were fired from the thicket.
This did not deter the MRP party members who continued pursuing them while others started carrying Davies property back into the lodge.
“We are willing to wait here all day and night for Ambrose,” said MRP Leader, Mqondisi Moyo in an interview with CITE.
“As MRP we have come here to make sure sanity prevails and that Davies is given back his place. We were touched because Davies agreed with our chiefs to modify this place into a tourist attraction that preserves Ndebele culture and values. We will not allow anyone to destroy Ndebele cultural values. Zanu PF tried to destroy them for the past 30 years but as MRP we are saying “enough is enough.”
Moyo said MRP was justified to carry out this act because they regarded themselves a a revolutionary party, the same way Zanu and ZAPU fought against the Ian Smith regime over land imbalances.
“Since 1999 to 2000, Zanu PF embarked on a chaotic fast track land reform programme and since then has been willy nilly invading other peoples properties. They do so without agreement but base acts, saying they are the ruling Zanu PF yet Zimbabwe’s constitution and the Traditional Leaders Act reads that wherever there is land, people who are involved in the land distribution are only traditional leaders – chiefs, kraalheads and village headmen,” he said.
The MRP leader queried why the Zanu PF government was politicising land when chiefs were the custodians.
“Look at Matabeleland, the area which falls under Umguza constituency, there are now so many outsiders who were illegally settled. As MRP we are the custodians of Mthwakazi land and we want land to be taken back to rightful people,” he said.
Two years ago, Chief Ndiweni claimed there was corruption in how the Umguza land committee apportioned land to Ambrose.
The chief held an Imbizo, as part of the Save Ntabazinduna Mountain campaign, stressing his fight was not about the white farmer but was motivated by greed of individuals within Zanu PF who wanted to destroy the legacy of the mountain.
Chief Ndiweni also at that time, called on the United States government to immediately increase and tighten sanctions and travel restrictions they applied against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
“We were here two years ago after Chief Ndiweni and Ntabazinduna locals asked us to defend this place. See how beautiful this place is,” said the MRP leader who noted the former chief had engaged them again in December when he heard Ambrose was contemplating moving in.
“Ambrose came back threatening Davies that he was Zanu PF and was untouchable. To make matters worse, Davies has more than three high court rulings, which are to his favour as the owner of the place so Ambrose must abide by the court rulings.”