A senior Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) director and some top ruling ZANU PF officials in Matabeleland North province are behind the illegal seizure of a farm belonging to Siphosami Malunga, a local international human rights lawyer and a consortium he works with.
Investigations by The NewsHawks, which involved talking to farmworkers and Lands ministry officials as well as searching the deeds and companies registry, show CIO co-deputy director-general Gatsha Mazithulela, Obert Mpofu and Richard Moyo are behind the plot to grab Kershelmar Farms (Private) Limited from its legal owners who are indigenous Zimbabweans.
Mpofu is the ZANU PF secretary for administration, while Moyo is the Matabeleland North provincial minister of state.
The farm, generally known as Esidakeni, is owned by Malunga, who is the son of prominent nationalist Sydney Malunga, and his business partners Zephaniah Dhlamini and Charles Moyo.
The farm measures slightly over 550 hectares.
A worker at the farm who spoke to The NewsHawks revealed that the CIO boss is spearheading the farm seizure in a clear case of abuse of office. Said the worker:
Mazithulela has made it clear that he has an interest in grabbing the farm. He told Sipho (Malunga) sometime last year that government will seize the property because he is critical of the government.
Mpofu has also been here to the farm. So we have been under siege from Mazithulela and ZANU PF leaders in this region. This is clearly political. It has nothing to do with land reform.
Malunga, an outspoken government critic like his father was, worked around the world for the United Nations at its New York headquarters, Oslo in Norway, Afghanistan, South East Asia, especially in Timor, and Johannesburg, South Africa.
His father Sydney Malunga died in a mysterious road accident in 1994 and is buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
One of the owners, Dhlamini, National University of Science and Technology Applied Genetics Testing Centre director, was a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.
He also worked for the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome, Italy, and for the International Atomic Energy Agency as a consultant in Vienna, Austria.
Moyo is a businessman who also has interests in mining.
Provincial affairs minister Moyo was quoted by state media as saying the government does not remove black farmers from farms if they do not own land elsewhere.
Moyo claimed that the farm belongs to the state because its former owner a white farmer by the name of Swindells died and left the land in the hands of Eddie Warambwa, who was a front of the white man.
However, according to The NewsHawks, the government story is misleading and untrue.
In terms of the law, the government cannot seize land from local black people.