A senior Zanu PF official and former Cabinet Minister has been linked to the controversial compulsory acquisition of a farm owned by three black farmers, including Siphosami Malunga, the son of a national hero, Sydney Malunga, laid to rest at Zimbabwe’s Heroes Acre in Harare.
VOA Zimbabwe Service is in possession of documents indicating that Lands Minister Anxious Jongwe Masuka, wrote an offer letter to the Zanu PF official (name supplied) when owners of Keshelmar Farm - Malunga, Charles Moyo and Zephaniah Dhlamini – were in the process of seeking help from him to stop the acquisition of the land also known as Esidakeni Farm in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North province.
The offer letter was written a few days after the three gave Masuka some detailed documents on how they acquired the farm from a white commercial farmer, who now lives outside the country.
In the offer letter, written and signed by Masuka on June 30, 2021, the piece of land was parceled out to Mswelangubo Farm, said to be owned by the former Cabinet Minister, who was not available for comment last night.
The offer letter reads in part, “I am pleased to offer to Mswelangubo Farm the following farm, which was compulsorily acquired in Umguza District Matabeleland North province for use by the Mswelangubo Farm … Please note that the land in question is for institutional use by Mwelangubo Farm and shall remain state land on which terms and conditions for state land apply.”
Mwelangubo was given 145 hectares of the said land. The government has in the past claimed that it acquired the farm a few years ago.
Masuka, Malunga, Moyo and Dhlamini were unavailable for comment as they were not responding to calls on their mobile phones.
With the Zanu PF and former Cabinet minister’s alleged role in attempts to seize the land from the three farmers, it seems possible that he will be included in court proceedings challenging the acquisition.
The High Court recently granted Malunga, Moyo and Dhlamini an order to evict one Dumisani Madzivanyati, who was claiming that he was offered the same piece of land by the Ministry of Agriculture. Madzivanyati was ordered to leave the farm within 24 hours.
Esidakeni Farm cultivates tomatoes, vegetables and other plants worth millions of dollars.