Former Politician and Businessman Mr Philip Chiyangwa is demanding over $100 million in compensation from residents settled at Odar Farm, popularly known as Southlea Park, according to figures he put as price for the land. Mr Chiyangwa’s Sensene Investments flighted an advertisement in the media last weekend in which it pegged $50 per square-metre for high-density stands and $16 per square-metre for low-density stands.
Commercial and industrial stands would be charged between $100 and $250 per square-metre respectively.
With more than 6 000 residents settled on 200 square-metres in high-density stands, the figure translates to $10 000 per individual and $60 million rich pickings for Mr Chiyangwa.
For a 2 000 square metre stand, an individual has to pay $32 000 at $16 per square metre.
Residents were also asked to pay $150 as registration fee. He will rake in about $40 million from those in low-density suburbs and commercial and industrial stands.
“Payment terms available up to the 36 months. Every occupied stand must be paid for. All residents should regularise their occupation by August 31, 2015 to expedite the process of issuing tittle deeds,” read the press notice flighted in the mainstream media.
However, it will not be an easy go for Mr Chiyangwa as the Odar housing development consortium chairperson, Mr Benny Matenga, vowed to resist takeover.
Odar housing development consortium convened a meeting with residents at the weekend in which they vowed to resist efforts by Mr Chiyangwa.
Government, through the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing returned Odar Farm to Sensene Investment, part of Stoneridge Park and Nyarungu Estate whose beneficiary was Mr Chiyangwa.
But the consortium that settled more than 7 000 residents on the land has argued that giving the land back was unlawful in that it was not consistent with a Supreme Court judgment confirming the acquisition of the land from the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association.
Consortium executive members representing employees from 56 companies argued that they settled at the farm under the employer-assisted Garikayi/Hlalani Kuhle Phase two.
They convened a meeting with residents on Saturday where they took turns to denounce Mr Chiyangwa.
Addressing thousands of residents on Saturday, Mr Matenga, vowed to resist efforts by Mr Chiyangwa saying the businessman had no legitimate claim to the land.
He said the Supreme Court judgment upholding a decision by the Administrative Court confirming the acquisition of the land still stood.
“You should never lose sleep with what Chiyangwa is doing. Do not panic. We have gone to court challenging the transfer of title to his company. We are confident that we will win.
‘‘We faced a temporary setback last week and the court ruled that the matter was not urgent. No one is going to pay him a single cent,” said Mr Matenga.
He said they would not rest while waiting their case awaits to be heard in the High Court, as they would take their case to senior Government officials including the Presidium.
“We did not invade this land. We were given by the Government and this property was owned by white men. Chiyangwa is now coming as an agent of the whites to say it is his property.
“If Government wants us to pay compensation, it should come here and convey that message to you as residents. It cannot be my responsibility to do that,” said Mr Matenga.
When contacted for comment, Mr Chiyangwa described the Matenga-led executive as “criminals” fleecing the people.