ZANU PF activists who two weeks ago occupied fertiliser manufacturer Sable Chemical Industries (Pvt) Ltd’s Sebakwe Farm did so to facilitate its takeover by Berrington Mangwiro Mawere,
the Zimbabwe Independent has been told.
Berrington Mawere is the son of former Kwekwe mayor, Johnson Mawere.
A Sable Chemical Industries spokesperson in Kwekwe who preferred anonymity told this paper last week that Mawere was using his son to get the farm.
“It’s true that the farm was invaded last week (two weeks ago) by people suspected to be ruling party supporters,” the spokesperson said.
“The farm is being taken over by Johnson Mawere, the former mayor of Kwekwe, and his son Berrington Mangwiro Mawere who claims to have been allocated the farm.”
Investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent revealed that Johnson Mawere already has an A2 farm in the Battlefield area between Kadoma and Kwekwe.
Mawere was one of the first beneficiaries of government’s controversial land reform programme.
It is understood the farm was invaded ostensibly to punish Sable for exporting fertiliser and starving the local market.
The spokesperson refuted the allegations by the invaders.
“Sable hardly exports fertiliser except under a special permit by the government,” the spokesperson said. “The production capacity of AN fertiliser is 250 000 tonnes annually, largely for domestic use.”
The company distributes fertiliser locally through Windmill and Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company.
The farm produces mainly wheat, maize barley and paprika.
Sources told this paper that management was given 24 hours to remove all farm equipment such as pumps for water to the electrolysis plant which processes fertiliser.
The company also produces gaseous oxygen which is critically essential for Ziscosteel and Zimasco for use in steel and ferrochrome manufacturing respectively.
The spokesperson said the occupations threatened the operations of the company’s fertiliser manufacturing plant.
“Stopping the operation of the pump house threatens the closure of Sable as well as Zisco and Zimasco,” the spokesperson said.
Sable, the country’s sole manufacturer of ammonium nitrate, employs at least 30 workers on the farm whose future is already in doubt.
The spokesperson told the Independent that the company did not get any notification from the government about the acquisition of the farm.
Efforts to interview Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made were fruitless. He kept switching off his cellphone. Mawere could also not be reached for comment.