A farm belonging to a son of a national hero and his colleagues has been seized by some people said to be linked to Zimbabwe’s feared spy network, the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), despite a pending High Court case over the Nyamandlovu piece of land.
In a Facebook message, Siphosami Malunga, who is the son of the late PF Zapu stalwart Sydney Malunga, said a man identified as Davison Gumbo invaded the Esidakeni Farm last night in the company of several individuals.
“The case is in the High Court. We have elaborated our side and are waiting for the responses from every respondent we cited, yet the farm grabbers have now invaded the farm. Dumisani Madzivanyati came with a certain Davison Gumbo a few days ago. Last night Gumbo came with a gang and told our farm manager to leave. Said Zeph Dhlamini is now barred from coming to the farm. Ordered workers to shut down all borehole & irrigation pumps & "dismissed" the entire workforce & "locked" us out. We reported to ZRP. They are afraid of the High Court. This was always a land grab and Gatsha Mazithulela and CIO and Richard Moyo are all over it. We will defend ourselves, our rights & our workers. They will have to kill us.”
Malunga, Dhlamini and Charles Moyo bought the farm from a commercial farmer but the government claims, without evidence, that Esidakeni was compulsorily acquired in 2004 and is in the process of being subdivided for several people, including CIO deputy director Gatsha Mazithulela, CIO operative Reason Mpofu, Dumisani Madzivanyathi and others.
The three owners filed a High Court application seeking an order to block declare as null and void claims that the farm was acquired by the state.
Dhlamini was blocked by Gumbo from entering the farm today resulting in a harsh exchange of words in the presence of the police, who were alerted about the farm invasion by the current owners of the land.
Malunga, Dhlamini and Moyo accuse Mazithulela, Madvivanyathi, provincial minister Richard Moyo, Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu of attempting to push them out of the farm.
In court documents filed by the three, Mazithulela is said to have noted that his aim is to get rid of Maunga, who is a well-known government critic.
Responding to the invasion of the farm, David Coltart, a senior member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said, “For all the sycophantic claims of some who should know better that this is a “new dispensation “ and the economy is in good hands, the reality on the ground is far different. This farm was bought lawfully by Siphosami Malunga and his partners and they have invested heavily in it. Sipho is the son of the late and real national hero Sydney Malunga. The farm has been targeted by ZANUPF because Sipho is a staunch critic of the Mnangagwa regime - indeed a real thorn in their side.
“The way they can get at him is by unlawfully invading this farm as they have done. There is of course no rule of law to speak of in Zimbabwe so the legal route is difficult, but the only course a democrat like Sipho can take. It is important that this story be shared - in particular diplomats of countries Mnangagwa is trying to impress need to note the reality on the ground. This is a regime which is a master at smoke and mirrors games; it is not a ‘new dispensation’ but rather a ‘new deception’.”
Some people being cited in the High Court case have denied any involvement in the farm invasion. Obert Mpofu said, “The farm is in my neighbourhood and it is along the road to town. How then can I avoid passing through it besides I have never spoken to anyone about subdividing it although I know that the farm has never been and it’s not owned by Malunga and company. I know the history of that farm very well. What they are trying to do is laughable.”