Darren Coetzee is a farmer and businessman based in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. He owns the country's second largest milk producer, Dendairy. He is President Emmerson Mnangagwa's ally.

Background

Darren attended Lomagundi College. The Coetzee family has been farming in Kwekwe for over 50 years and founded Dendairy, a well-known Zimbabwean firm. Their farm was invaded at least five times during the land seizures, but each time the war veterans and Zanu PF supporters were removed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Ninety per cent of other white farmers - more than 4,000 - were forced off their land, crashing Zimbabwe’s export economy which was heavily dependent on agriculture. The Afrikaans-speaking Coetzee family currently owns a farm with over 2,000 dairy cattle. Like many white farmers who have managed to remain, they support smaller scale farmers and buy their milk.[1]

Relationship with President Mnangagwa

On 14 January 2016 President Emmerson Mnangagwa first proclaimed his connections with the Coetzee family when he told mourners at a memorial service of Estelle Theresa Coetzee, that he saved the family’s farm and business from invasions during the time of land reform. The farm was invaded 5 times but each time the invaders mainly made of war veterans and Zanu PF chefs would be removed by the police.[2]

Investment Deal with Government of Zimbabwe

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally and Zanu PF backed Kwekwe businessman Darren Coetzee (Dendairy) clinched a land deal to farm Lucerne grass in Chikombedzi at the cost of a possible eviction of over 1000 families. The Kwekwe businessman Coetzee inked an investment deal with the government to farm Lucerne grass on a 10000 hectares land that is communally owned by the Shangani people in Chikombedzi area in Chiredzi district in the Masvingo Province.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga addressed the livid families in Chilonga on Sunday 07 June 2020 that the project was going to pass through despite the resistance by the residents who don’t want to move off their ancestral lands. He said that the project was beneficial to the country and the future of the people of Chikombedzi.

“We need to work together now. We need you to work together with the team we are going to send back (from Harare) in order to speed up the process”,

“Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we will never get back to our traditional arrangement of living”,

“We are going to start a new living arrangement” he said



References

  1. Aislinn Lang, [1], The Telegraph, Published: 14 January, 2016, Accessed: 1 March, 2021
  2. Taruberekera Masara, [2], Midlands News, Published: 9 June, 2020, Accessed: 1 March, 2021