Kondozi Estates

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Kondozi Estates was a farming business in Odzi in the province of Manicaland, Zimbabwe located 32 km west of Mutare just off the main Harare-Mutare road. The farm specialized in horticulture and would export produce to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose in Europe amoung other places. The farm was majority owned by Edwin Moyo and minority by Piet de Klerk. Despite being owned by a indigenous African, Kondozi was invaded by Zanu-PF politicians in April 2006. The farm was renamed Beverly Hills Estate[1].

Background

Kondozi was an Export Processing Zone-registered firm. The company employed about 5,000 people directly.[2].

Invasion by government

Over Easter in 2004, the government agricultural parastatal, Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) took over the farm apparently because it had white shareholders. This was therefore part of the land reform program that had started in 1999. Joseph Made was the minister of Agriculture at the time. A former farm worker told of how the invasion took place:

It was on the eve of Easter when they came. Our boss Edwin Moyo was not there at the time. They were armed with water cannons and submachine guns. They ordered everyone to vacate the farm.[1]

Arda confiscated vehicles and motorbikes used at the farm after takeover.[2]

Arda was said to have been used by Zanu-PF politicians keen on occupying the farm themselves. Indeed, the farm is now occupied by Christopher Mushowe, a Zanu-PF senoir member.[3].

It was reported that some Zanu-PF politicians, like Joseph Msika tried to stop the takeover of the farm but failed. Senoir Zanu-PF member, Jonathan Moyo, is quoted to have said at the time that there was "no going back on Kondozi".[2]

The owners of the business approached the HIgh Court and successfully got an order to stop the invasion but the order was ignored. Zanu-PF officials said that although Edwin Moyo was majority owner of the business, a white family, De Klerks, owned the land.[1]

Post government invasion

About 4,000 farm workers were displaced immediately after takeover.[2] Kondozi farm's business collapsed after the invasion. The farm struggled with markets to sell to as Zimbabwe had hostile relations with the farm's export markets like Europe. [3]

Eventually, about 5,000 in total are reported to have lost their jobs.[1]

Edwin Moyo started another horticulture farming business in Mashonaland East and is running a company named Rolex Fresh exports which has secured European markets and Australia for its produce. He also has a joint venture business in Mozambique where they produce fruits for export. [1]

Other reading

  • My Kondozi Story: The People’s Hope Pillaged - 2016 Book by former owner Edwin Moyo




References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Phyllis Mbanje, Kondozi: A man-made disaster, NewsDay, Published:5 Aug 2015 , Retrieved: 13 Aug 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Augustine Mukaro, Kondozi moves to Mozambique, The Zimbabwe Independent, Published:24 March 2006, Retrieved: 13 August 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ranga Mberi, Kondozi vs Irvines: a case of fowl hypocrisy, Ranga Mberi on Tumblr, Published:12 August 2016, Retrieved: 13 August 2016