Zimbabwe’s Lands and Agriculture Minister, Anxious Masuka, has distanced himself from the seizure of a farm belonging to government critic Siphosami Malunga and his business partners, according to an online publication, The NewsHawks.
Masuka is quoted by the publication as saying he is not aware of the seizure of the land belonging to Charles Moyo, Zephania Dhlamini and Malunga, son of the late national hero and PF Zapu stalwart, Sydney Malunga.
The NewsHawks also quoted Lands and Agriculture spokesperson, Barbara Machekano, shifting the farm saga to Matabeleland North provincial minister, Richard Moyo, who said the government should have utilized the farm a couple of years ago.
Moyo told The NewsHawks that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is determined to subdivide the farm and allocate it to some landless Zimbabweans.
“That land does not belong to the Malunga family. It was acquired by the government and belongs to the government. They are claiming to have bought shares to the property, but you cannot buy shares to a land that has been acquired by government.
“There is no going back on that farm seizure. We should have taken the farm a long time ago. Besides, they do not have any documentation showing that they own the property. Dhlamini and (Charles) Moyo came to my offices to explain themselves, but failed to provide any papers. We have given beneficiaries, 14 of them, offer letters to occupy that farm. They also claim that their documents were stolen. Documents of the property stay with the owner of that property, they cannot be kept at the offices. It is clear that they want to raise dust to tarnish the image of the government.”
Malunga, who is the executive director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, insists that he co-owns Kershelmar Farms (Pvt) Ltd with businessman Moyo and Dhlamini, a scientist working at the National University of Science and Technology.
He claimed recently on Twitter that documents containing details of the ownership of the farm were stolen from the Deeds Office.
Indications are that the farm seizure is being spearheaded by Moyo, Central Intelligence Organization co-deputy director general Gatsha Mazithulela and Zanu PF secretary of administration Obert Mpofu.
Mazithulela and Mpofu were unreachable for comment as they were not responding to calls on their mobile phones.
The government claims that it acquired the farm in 2004 Nyamandlovu from a white commercial farmer in 2004, seventeen years before it was bought by Malunga and his partners.