The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement has transferred Chiredzi lands officer Honest Mapfumo to Harare in a move viewed as victimisation for his role in exposing corruption in allocation of land in Chiredzi.
Mapfumo is a key witness in a case in which the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is investigating corrupt allocation of land including sugarcane plots in Chiredzi.
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The allocations were spearheaded by the Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Ezra Chadzamira and acting provincial lands officer Tendai Mumera.
Last month, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga ordered the scrapping of a land allocation schedule which would have benefitted over 40 people who were set to get sugarcane plots under the Kilimanjaro sugarcane project.
He cited corruption and the sidelining of locals in the selection process.
Mapfumo’s re-assignment letter dated 19 May 2021 and signed by the ministry’s permanent secretary John Basera, stated he should report for work at the ministry’s head office on 31 May. Reads part of the letter:
_The ministry has received reports concerning administrative challenges on your performance in Chiredzi district. In light of this development, l have decided that you be recalled from Chiredzi District office re-assigned to new duties at head office in Harare. You are therefore requested to assume duty in Harare with effect from 31 May 2021._
Mapfumo told The NewsHawks that re-assignments within the ministry are normal, but his transfer was unprocedural since he was not informed of the allegations levelled against him, neither were they proven.
A group of Chiredzi locals wrote to Zacc on 21 January this year accusing Chadzamira and Mumera of abuse of office after the two delayed allocating them a piece of land in Hippo Valley North measuring 2385 hectares which they had identified and was approved by the late Lands minister Perrance Shiri.
Chadzamira and Mumera allegedly allocated the land to other people without following the set rules.
A top government official in Masvingo told The NewsHawks that Chadzamira may not be arrested given that he is one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top allies.
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