Holders of Kershelmar Farms (Pvt) Limited, Malunga (OSISA Director), businessman Charles Moyo and Zephaniah Dhlamini, a scientist working at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), have written to Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka to assert their ownership of the land.
The trio writes when the State has moved to compulsorily acquire Kerslmar Farm known as Esidakeni Farm in Hilda’s Kraal, Nyamandlovu, under section 72(2) of the country’s constitution.
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In their letter to the lands minister, the Osisa director and colleagues accused political elites in Matabeleland including Richard Moyo, Obert Mpofu, and Gatsha Mazithulela of orchestrating the seizure. In a letter dated 14 June, the trio said:
_We came to know about the farm as its sale by public action was gazetted in 2015. At the public auction the farm was not sold as the highest bid fell short of the creditor’s demands. It was then sold by private treaty, administered by Bulawayo Real Estate, we dully placed our bid that was acceptable to the auctioneers. Before we signed the sale agreement with the Deputy Sheriff, we did due diligence and discovered that the farm was not owned by the defendant late Eddias Warambwa._
_As such the farm could not be sold for the debts of the defendant. Having invested a lot of time and energy in trying to purchase the farm we searched for and identified the owner. We then approached the lands office in Bulawayo and the then Minister of State for Matabeleland North, Hon. Cain Mathema for guidance. We were told the farm was indeed private property it had never been gazetted nor designated for acquisition._
They further argue that since October 2020, they have faced severe harassment from officials at the lands office.
Malunga and colleagues argue that the seizure of the farm is in violation of the country’s policies which state that the government will not take land from black nationals.