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New Zimbabwe Farm Takeover Shuts Down Flower Export Operation

The future of one of Zimbabwe’s few remaining export horticulture enterprises, Odzi Drift Estate, looks bleak following a takeover by a top Lands Ministry official.

Resettlement Director Christopher Mushambi of the Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement invaded the farm in February bearing an offer letter from his ministry and has ignored a court order to leave the farm some 40 kilometers from Mutare.

Sources familiar with the situation said ruling ZANU-PF party youths are guarding the farm for Mushambi, and there were reports of looting of equipment, livestock and food. Mushambi himself could not be reached for comment.

Odzi Drift Estate exported flowers to the Netherlands, bringing foreign exchange that Zimbabwe desperately needs, but exports have been halted by the invasion.

Odzi Drift co-owner Lynne Evans, who has fled the farm, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mushambi has already planted beans in her flower fields.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...