HomePoliticsGovt grabs 49 Hippo Valley properties

Govt grabs 49 Hippo Valley properties

Augustine Mukaro

FORTY-NINE properties that form part of the Hippo Valley Estates have been listed for compulsory acquisition as government begins to put into force its latest amendments to the Land Acqu

isition Act.

A preliminary notice for compulsory acquisition published by the Herald on Wednesday placed the 49 individual properties under Section 5. The properties constitute about 24 838 hectares of the 60 165 hectares which make up the Hippo Valley Estates.

The original Hippo Valley Estates agreement was drawn up in 1964 between the Rhodesian government and Sir Raymond Stockil representing the company. The government, through a Crown Charter, ceded 70 872 morgen of land to Hippo Valley to develop an irrigation scheme.

A Dutch morgen is about 0,85 hectares.

In the agreement, Hippo Valley was to pay the government £286 425 for 14 321 acres of irrigable land. The Act also gave the company water rights in the Kyle (now Mutirikwi) and Bangala Dams.

Government earlier this year repealed the Hippo Valley Act and empowered itself to acquire the land and processing infrastructure and equipment on the farms.

The company is already involved in a dispute between resettled A2 farmers and commercial farmers over payment for the sugarcane delivered to its mill.

Both parties are claiming ownership of the sugarcane resulting in the company instituting interpleader proceedings in the High Court.

The company is currently depositing proceeds for the disputed sugar at the High Court.

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