Mr Land Grab at it again in Zimbabwe
ZIMBABWE ’ S Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, who already owns vast tracts of farmland, has been accused of gross nepotism after grabbing more land from neighbouring resettled farmers to give to his son and nephew.
The minister, a major actor in the land-invasions drama that started in 2000, has been named in various reports as one of the high-profile multiple farm owners in Zimbabwe.
Last year, he was accused by the Commercial Farmers’ Union of being behind an invasion of a lodge on Benlynian Game Ranch, 46km from the South African border.
President Robert Mugabe and most senior Zanu-PF officials have seized numerous farms, making them Zimbabwe ’ s new land barons. The farms were grabbed from white commercial farmers hounded out without compensation or forced to work on smaller pieces of land.
In the latest dispute, Mohadi is accused of using a gun to threaten local resettled farmers and villagers.
One of the dispossessed farmers told the Sunday Times Mohadi had seized plots bordering Zvovhe Dam, leaving them landless and without means of survival. “ Mohadi threatened my mother with a gun. He has visited our land many times and even shot a dog, saying he was untouchable. He will kill people on the farm and nothing will happen to him,” he said.
Mohadi refused to comment, and police said they did not know anything about it.
Resettled farmers in Beit Bridge, some of them war veterans and conservationists, say they have been trying for a long time to ward off the minister, but are losing the fight because they lack political connections.
The minister’s wife, Tambudzani, was also involved in a series of clashes with them, and the farmers had to seek a court order against her.
The farmers have written to the Matabeleland South war veterans’ chapter, seeking help and saying Mohadi wants to parcel out their land to his son, Campbell, and his nephew, Danisa Muleya.
They also say Mohadi, who occupies a huge farm which he grabbed from a white farmer, has been pushing for the seizure of their plots since 2009.
This led to the redrawing of the boundaries of the adjacent land where the farmers have been displaced. “ We know he is going to give that land to his son and nephew,” said a farmer.