Chiyangwa Defends Land Empire

Harare, – Embattled Harare businessman, Phillip Chiyangwa, says an investigation that has been instituted by the Harare City Council to determine how he acquired his many housing and business stands in Harare is motivated by malice.

Speaking to a independent radio station in an exclusive telephone interview, Chiyangwa, said he had acquired his stands in a transparent manner.

“That investigation is motivated by malice, it is aimed at tarnishing my image, there are people who do not want to see people prosper in life,” said Chiyangwa.

He claimed that it is the Harare City Council which owes him land.

“I gave the Harare City Council my land and all I was doing in the past is to get back my land,” said Chiyangwa.

“I am wondering why this so called investigation is concentrating on me as if I am the only one who has bought land in the last few years. I would have understood it if this investigation was investigating everyone who bought land in Harare.”

The Harare City Council has set up a committee to investigate how Chiyangwa acquired vast tracts of land around the city without council approval.

The investigating team launched the investigation on Wednesday.

Council has already instructed the flamboyant businessman to stop developing a public open space meant for a recreational multipurpose park in Borrowdale.

But Chiyangwa, a nephew of President Robert Mugabe, has stuck his guns out.

“I cannot be stopped by people who have nothing, people who have no vision, no property, all they wait for is to look at how they can destroy Chiyangwa just because everything that he touches turns gold,” he said.

He went on to accuse the Mayor of Harare of being jealous.

“My problem is that all things that I do succeed so there are some people who are not happy about that. We meet with Masunda somewhere but let me tell you in business I am strong,” said Chiyangwa without elaborating.

The city council recently ordered Chiyangwa’s Kilma Investments to suspend work on a multi-million dollar hotel project in Borrowdale stating that the development was ‘illegal’.

The councillors said Chiyangwa’s acquisition of large acres of land in the peri-urban farms around the city has to be investigated through a land audit to check how he ended up owning the land.

Deliberating at a full council meeting at Town House, the councillors agreed to set up a committee to investigate how the Pinnacle Holdings boss acquired land that he continue to advertise for sale.

The debate was raised by Ward 19 councilor Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi said it was very unfair for an individual to own huge tracts of land at the expense of ordinary residents.

“It is not surprising to note that the businessman might have got the land for peanuts and he is now selling the stands at exorbitant prices. You see the adverts everywhere and where is that money going and is it of any help to the council?” asked Kufahakutizwi at the meeting.

Mabvuku councillor Casper Takura also supported the motion to investigate arguing council land should be sold to residents after a full council resolution okaying the move.

“Council land must be a prerogative of the poor so whatever deals that are being undertaken to enrich one man must be stopped,” said Takura.

The councillors expressed concern that Chiyangwa has been issued too many stands and they suggested that it must be stopped.

Asked about yet another land wrangle that he is involved in with the Chinhoyi Municipality, Chiyangwa said, “Let me finish with Harare City Council then I can deal with Chinhoyi.”

Chiyangwa is allegedly refusing to vacate a farm owned by the Chinhoyi Municipality.

Scores of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who have invested in real estate through businessman Phillip Chiyangwa’s flagship Pinnacle Properties now stand to lose out after a major dispute erupted between him and the Harare City Council over how the former acquired vast tracts of land in prime residential areas of the city. Additional reporting from Radio VOP