The Zimbabwean government claims that a farm being targeted for compulsory acquisition in Matabeleland North province belongs to the state and not human rights lawyer, Siphosami Malunga, the son of the late national hero and PF Zapu stalwart, Sydney Malunga.
In a series of tweets, Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, clashed with Malunga on the social media platform after making these claims, adding that Malunga, businessman Charles Moyo, and Zephania Dlamini, a scientist at the National University of Science and Technology are utilizing only 30 hectares of Kershelmar Farm.
In one of the tweets, Mangwana said, “In 2004 Govt acquired a farm that belonged to a Mr Swindells who left for New Zealand then. The title deeds remain in his name. One Eddie Warambwa leased the farm from Swindells until 2010 when he died. In 2017 Sipho Malunga bought a Swindells company for US$33k. Clearly the 500ha farm had already been acquired by Govt in 2004 was not part of this transaction. A stand, and not a farm is bought for US33k. To say Govt is taking a Malunga farm is incorrect.
“In 2010 @RModiByoSouth bought the farm at an auction for US$250k as part of the Warambwa Estate debt but discovered it was already State land and abandoned the purchase. A purported purchase in 2017 does not dislodge Govt acquisition in 2004.”
Mangwana further claimed that, “In fact they are using only 30ha of this land and this land is being subdivided and being given to a number of people. They were offered 70 hectares of this and they declined maintaining it was theirs. In any case they already have 1600ha in Bubi in Mat North.”
But Malunga shot back on Twitter saying, “Nick you are shamelessly lying. We own the farm and hold the title deeds. It's really that simple. We know why the government has taken the farm. I came here to just say this. The rest we will say in the appropriate spaces.”
In a tweet and Facebook post yesterday, Malunga said, “Today we received a call from Mr. Dodzi at the Lands Office in Bulawayo to tell us that the Zim Govt has acquired our privately owned farm & tomorrow they are coming peg it & give it to people they have allocated it to. This isn’t about land reform & we will fight it in every way.
“The farm is wholly privately owned by 3 black individuals and we only got to see the Gazette and acquisition notice issued on 18 December for the first time today after the Lands Officer gave us the number and told us to go to government printers.”
He claimed that the three farm owners had not seen the acquisition notice before Dodzi called them.
Zimbabwe has since 2000, acquired over 4,500 farms and handed them over to blacks. Indications are that some top government officials own multiple farms.
A farm audit that was conducted two years ago has not been made public.