The senior Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officer and Zanu PF official who were ordered by the High Court to vacate Siphosami Malunga’s Esidakeni Farm are reportedly still occupying the property with plans to destroy crops worth thousands of dollars.
The farm at the heart of a bitter tussle is owned by Malunga, an international human rights lawyer and son of nationalist Sydney Malunga and his two business partners.
The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) boss, Malunga and his partners sought the spoliation order to stop Dumisani Madzivanyati, a National University of Science and Technology (NUST) lecturer and his CIO partner Reason Mpofu from disrupting farm operations.
Madzivanyati and Mpofu claim to have been allocated part of the farm. But Justice Martin Makonese last week give Madzivanyati and other so-called beneficiaries 24 hours to leave the farm, failure to which the Sheriff must evict them.
Malunga, however, claims that the invaders are still at the farm planning to destroy their crops and organising a violent attack.
“Dumisani Madzivanyati & gang of farm invaders #EsidakeniFarm continues to take the law into his own hands and clearly determined to sabotage and destroy our tomato crop and operations. After appealing against eviction, his thugs have continued to disrupt water supplies to our crop,” Malunga said on Thursday on his Twitter handle.
“The damages claim will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have applied to the High Court to evict him pending his frivolous appeal against his eviction. The shameful strategy is to destroy all the hard work we have done in the most productive farm in the area.
“They also hope to generate a violent confrontation with us, which we have steadfastly avoided and rejected. We know this strategy well.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government claimed it acquired the farm, but many analysts argue that Malunga was being punished for his key role in approving the financing of important human rights NGOs and media organisations in the country via OSISA.
An observer who spoke to Nehanda Radio in June this year, 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.
Two months ago, President Mnangagwa’s ally and war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa actually apologised for attempts by Zanu PF aligned people, to grab Malunga’s farm.
“I share completely the sentiments which he (panelist, Pedzisai Ruhanya) has expressed in every aspect. He speaks of the Malunga case, I followed it. Which is unacceptable for me,” Mutsvangwa said during a debate. Nehanda Radio