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Esidakeni farm grab unacceptable: Mutsvangwa

War veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa has described attempts to grab Esidakeni Farm in Matabeleland North as unacceptable.

The farm is co-owned by Siphosami Malunga, director of Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), businessman Charles Moyo and scientist at National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Zephania Dlamini.

The farm has been at the centre of a wrangle with senior government officials and central intelligence organisation officials trying to wrestle the land from the three businessmen.

The matter has since spilled to the High Court with the three businessmen seeking an order to stop the land grab.

In a state gazette, Lands minister Anxious Masuka said the farm known as Esidakeni measuring 553 hectares and situated in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North province is being compulsory acquired under section 72(2) of the country’s constitution, attracting widespread condemnation.

In an interview on the Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) State of the Nation programme on Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) director Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya queried why the government was going after privately owned land.

Dr Ruhanya was part of the panel together with Mutsvangwa and Bishop Anselm Magaya discussing the topic,‘Peace and Social Cohesion Dialogue Series Celebrating Heroes Day- a Nation Building Process’.

Source: ZTN

“The call of the liberation struggle was the land question, the redistributive agenda. It is an issue that has been addressed in my view satisfactorily although we have other issues within the distribution of land.

“For instance, I was reading a story of one Siphosami Malunga. His father is a veteran of the struggle, he lies at the Heroes Acre. This guy, from the story I read in court papers, he got a piece of land. He did not even use the idea that his father Malunga is a national hero. He bought it using his own money.

“But I was reading a story where that land he bought using his own money despite the fact that his father is a veteran of the struggle and a hero, the land has been invaded. So good things are soiled by that kind of partisanship,” he said.

Source: ZTN

In response, Mutsvangwa said: “I share completely the sentiments which he has expressed in every aspect. He speaks of the Malunga case, I followed it. Which is for me it is unacceptable.”

Mutsvangwa added some war veterans during the Mugabe were dispossessed of their land and the Esidakeni farm saga “is not peculiar, it is a grievance which we share and it is some of those injustices which we feel should be at the forefront of the second republic.”

Last week, Dlamini was barred from entering the farm by people who claimed they had been given instructions by some senior not to allow them access to the farm.

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