The land ownership dispute pitting businessman Philip Chiyangwa and Orda Housing Development Consortium in Harare South took a new twist yesterday after the tycoon rejected a settlement proposal from land barons in the area.

At least 13 land barons from Orda Farm, which belongs to Sinsene Investments, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Property Holdings owned by Chiyangwa, are on the police wanted list.

The 13 are linked to the housing development consortium in connection with the illegal sale of stands at Orda Farm, commonly known as Southlea Park in Harare South.
The police are offering a reward for their arrest.

Orda Housing Development Consortium, through their lawyers Tamuka Moyo Attorneys, had submitted a settlement proposal to Chiyangwa undertaking to pay compensation for the land.

But Chiyangwa said yesterday that he had rejected the proposal, adding that the offer was just a deceptive move to buy time by the individuals who were facing arrest.
In their proposal, the consortium had offered to buy the disputed land at a rate of $12 500 for every 240 square metres, among other things.

“That our client accepts the standard you proposed of using the Fidelity Life Assurance process for the project at the rate of $12 500 for a piece of land of 240 square meters,” the lawyers said.

“That our clients will acquire from you the entire section of Orda Farm with the exception of approximately 8,5 hectares which are under the control of Sensene Investments (Private) Limited.
“The approximate area of 605 hectares will thus be sold, in its entirety, to our clients.”
But Chiyangwa dismissed the proposal as mere posturing.

“The fact of the matter is that I have rejected the proposal which is just a ruse by these crooks in order to buy time,” said Chiyangwa.

“This consortium is made up of discredited people who are being sought by the police and the proposal was signed by the same people who are facing arrest.

“They must just forget it and I will only deal directly with the beneficiaries of the illegal sale of my land. I have title deeds to the property.”

The housing consortium comprises 56 corporates that illegally settled over 8 000 people at the farm, which Dr Chiyangwa said is rightfully owned by Sensene.

Although the Government recently returned the farm and two other farms in the area to Dr Chiyangwa, the consortium has resisted moves by the business mogul to take over the farms.

The consortium officials contend that the decision by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to return the farms to Dr Chiyangwa was null and void.
The consortium contended that Dr Chiyangwa could not claim ownership of the farms since the land had been compulsorily acquired by Government to benefit low-income home seekers.

Dr Chiyangwa had previously refused to negotiate with the consortium, offering instead to engage directly with the beneficiaries of the stands in relation to compensation while threatening to evict stand holders who refused to subject themselves to Sensene.
Government recently warned land barons involved in corrupt and illegal allocation of residential stands that they faced prosecution. herald

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