‘No Going Back On Malunga Farm Confiscation’

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister of state Richard Moyo Friday said that there is no going back on confiscating a farm belonging to prominent human rights lawyer Siphosami Malunga and his business partners.

The farm, known as Esidakeni, measuring 553 hectares and situated in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North province, is being compulsorily acquired under section 72(2) of the country’s constitution.

The farm was bought by Kershelmar Farms (Pvt) Ltd, a company co-owned by Siphosami, the executive director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and son of the late nationalist Sydney Malunga, businessman Charles Moyo and Zephaniah Dhlamini, a scientist working at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).

The property was initially owned by Jeffrey Swindells, a white farmer, who then sold Kershelmar – with the farm – to Malunga, Dhlamini and Charles Moyo.

The NewsHawks established that Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) co-deputy director-general Gatsha Mazithulela, ZANU PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and Moyo are behind the move to seize the property.

Moyo told the publication yesterday that Malunga and his business associates did not own the farm and it should have been grabbed by the government a time long ago. Said Moyo:

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 in the property, but you cannot buy shares to land that has been acquired by the 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.

But Malunga, posting on Twitter on Saturday, said he is ready to take on officials at the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, as well as Moyo. He said:

I hope that all these officials including the Minister for Provincial Affairs, Richard Moyo are ready for the fight ahead.

We are aware of and can show the frightening levels of corruption and criminal abuse of office in our case and regarding land in Matabeleland North generally.

We are aware of conflictual/personal relationships between some of the beneficiaries and the Minister of Provincial Affairs.

We will revisit long-standing corruption allegations by implicated individuals. We are aware that land is being sold in Matabeleland North.

More: The NewsHawks

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