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Rusape-Zingondi Land Dispute Open Can of Worms, Mutasa Also A Permit Holder.

By Shingirai Vambe

Three years after a Court ruling and urinating on self, former state security minister and ruling ZANU PF party kingpin, Didymus Mutasa was this time found wanting on the land wrangle currently occupied by 210 families, striking a deal with a private developer and legal practitioners, the Post has learnt.

Former Norton legislator, Themba Mliswa, related to Mutasa, has filed a Court case against the land developer, Brobondo Pvt Ltd,  and Muungwe Royal Estate, HC case 42/24 and a report to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission after progress and sale of residential stands had begun exactly 5km out of Rusape town along Wedza road.

According to sources privy to the land dispute, and settlers holding Government land occupational permits, development started after the death of one, Onius Masimba who stood in court against Mutasa, and won his eviction and ownership battles on behalf of the 210 families of Zingondi.

Former Norton Legislator, Themba Mliswa

“The Court argued, how much did Mutasa pay to acquire the piece of land he claimed ownership. Mutasa failed to respond, neither did he provide evidence or proof of payment,” said one settler who refused to be named for fear of victimisation. The settler told this publication that they sort clarification if Mutasa is claiming ownership of the whole land or his portion?

“Mutasa is also a permit holder of his allocated Msasa tree area, and we are now surprised to learn of the new developments that now include Themba Mliswa, Occupants at this disputed land said.

“We fear for our lives as we suspect foul play on the death of Masimba who used to stand against Mutasa in Court,” They added.

Brobondo entered into an agreement with Muungwe Investments Pvt Ltd, to develop 700 hectares land into residential, commercial and industrial stands between Rusape Dam and Utandi area.

The Post on Sunday Newspaper gathered, soon after independence, in 1980, the former white farmer, Tapson Trust, sold his farm to the Government of Zimbabwe, which was in the process of empowering black citizens soon after the liberation struggle, through cooperatives under the Ministry of Women Affairs.

The cooperative was registered and certified under Zingondi collective farming cooperative society limited, registration number, 680, dated November 15 1982.

The white settler held a farewell party with his farm workers who included Masimba, whom he left with most documents and title deeds of the farm. Fast forward, according to Mliswa, there are new title deeds which shows they were acquired in 2008 Deed of Transfer 7972/08, Deed of Grant 6600/08 and Deed of Grant 8874/08.

Interestingly, Brobondo employed Masimba’s children as security guards, at the site, a move described as passively dealing with this land dispute, knowing or trying to access remaining documents and rulings that Masimba had against Mutasa.

During his reign and terror, Mutasa used to hold meetings at his Rusape home, (pagomo) where Mliswa and another lady suspected to be a land developer or planner were seen with site plans, which were later submitted to Makoni Rural District Council (MRDC).

According to a council official who refused to be named and another settler of Zingondi, the local authority was also fighting in the settlers or cooperative corner only to be rendered powerless after a group of legal practitioners and brobondo revealed title deeds to council.

“They have the documents, valid papers and we can’t do nothing,” they said.

The matter implicitly exposes FORMER Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Joseph Made and FORMER Local Government and National Housing Minister, Ignatius Chombo, on the issuing of CERTIFICATES OF NO PRESENT INTEREST to pieces of land proximity to towns and service centers earmarked for URBAN EXPANSION according to current Land Acquisition Act and Rural and Urban Councils Act.

Former Zimbabwe Minister of Local Government and National Housing, Ignatius Chombo
Former Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Joseph Made.

Settlers revealed their fear after having been considered and allocated residential stands, that they may lose even the small pieces of land and the matter has allegedly spilled into cabinet, where former minister of finance, Patrick Chinamasa is questioning and fighting the l of over 150 families who got nothing as only 39 families/individuals got offer letters.

Following the expose by Mliswa, activity on the site is on halt. Brobondo project manager, Lisa, in a telephone conversation with one of the workers said work is continuing and people must fear nothing. She also said Mliswa was demanding US$9 million contrary to the figure he claim to have been offered and wish could be offered considering the value of the land in a video file footage.

“Tell people to fear nothing, Blessing Madanhe is a big man, a lawyer by profession he will fight these battles,” she said in a telephone conversation.

During the press conference with journalists in Harare, Mliswa said him and other parties or directors had 70% share of the land, without specifically clarifying how much, or how they acquired the land.

Zimbabwe in 2000, started the land redistribution exercise, described by human rights groups as political and chaotic, in some instances being invasion as holder farmers had title deeds but still lost their pieces of land, benefiting only the few and only members of the ruling party.

Majority, if not all farm/ers hold no title deeds of land or farms they have occupied since 2000. How did Mliswa, Mutasa and other parties get title deeds of the said land?

Efforts to get a response from Mliswa were futile.

Seizure and invasion of farms is still ongoing, now in a smatter way of acquiring offer letters from the Ministry of Lands and eviction orders from the High or Supreme Court without even appearing or responding to Court papers, case of Martin Grobler, former Goromonzi white farmer.

Current development at Zingondi show signs of money corruptly moving in the corridors of high offices as 2 contradicting letters/reports came from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). The developer allegedly holds no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)  report and no marriage whatsoever with the planning Authority on the development done so far.

According to MRDC source, the private land developer hasn’t submitted all the required layout plans and documents to the responsible local Authority and some orders and documents are coming straight from Harare.

In his response, Mutasa said Mliswa is no longer a shareholder neither is he a partner in Muungwe Investments Pvt Ltd as he has removed him as one of the directors, written to him and the letter posted on email and to his Borrowdale address, however, there was no proof to that effect.

The area that the developer has worked on, opening roads and pegging stands, few meters from the dam, is the same area, Mutasa is said to have been allocated and holding permits for, (Kumusasa) bordering Rusape dam and St Joseph school.

Technocrats fear for the lives of people tempering with the eco system, water high flood levels which might be a threat to human lives, siltation and spiritually associated disappearance of male individuals every year in Rusape dam.

since the public appearance and utterances by Mliswa over the sale of stands in Rusape, progress and development has been put on hold.

Majority of land seekers have been robbed of their hard earned money by land barons and developers across the country, with some having their structures demolished for various reasons which include EIA issues and corrupt acquiring of that land, what then boggles the mind is having the office of the surveior General and or Ministry of Local Government and Public Works giving a nod to such developments then later change.

Zimbabwe citizens now prefer council owned land projects than private land development as it has come with high cost and losses in the long run.