Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Govt grabs OSISA boss Malunga’s farm, ‘punishment for funding NGOs’

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The Government of Zimbabwe is bizarrely claiming it acquired a farm which is privately owned by the executive director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) Siphosami Malunga, a move observers say is punishment for helping to fund NGO’s in the country.

The late national hero Sidney Malunga and his Siphosami Malunga
The late national hero Sydney Malunga and his Siphosami Malunga

On Monday Siphosami who is the son of the late PF Zapu stalwart and national hero, Sydney Malunga said the Lands Ministry notified him that they are coming on Tuesday to take the farm, peg it and give it to people they have allocated it to.

“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 and tomorrow they are coming to peg it and give it to people they have allocated it to.This isnt about land reform and we will fight it in every way,” Malunga said.

In an interview with Nehanda Radio, an observer who spoke on condition of anonymity said it wasn’t surprising that Malunga was “being punished” because the organisation that he leads plays a significant role in promoting democracy in Zimbabwe.

“It’s not surprising. OSISA plays a significant role in Zimbabwe. It is one of the biggest funders of many NGOs in Zimbabwe and Africa. He is being punished for that,” the observer said.

He added “I don’t even know why these people (Zanu PF) hate democracy”.

Recently, the government announced plans to deregister more than 450 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on allegations that “they are not doing anything with regards to those mandates.”

“Why do we continue to register them when they are dormant? They are not doing anything. When they registered, they stated the things they were going to take care of but they are not doing anything with regards to those mandates. It is necessary that they get deregistered,” Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said in March.

Political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya asked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to explain why it wanted to take Malunga’s farm.

“So black people who bought their own farms are being victimised politically by the Zanu-PF and having their properties seized. How does ZANU PF justify the dispossession Sydney Malunga family of their farm bought in the 1980s. Malunga is a national hero so what’s the issue?” he asked.

This is not the first time the Zanu PF government tries to take black-owned land amid plans to evict more than 12 000 people of Shangaan origin from their ancestral land to pave way for a lucerne grass/Alfalfa project by Dendairy in Chiredzi. Nehanda Radio