Malunga Business Partners Arrested For Occupying Esidakeni Farm
Police have arrested two co-directors of Kershelmer Farms (Private) Limited, also known as Esidakeni Farm located in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North Province.
Zephaniah Dhlamini and Charles Moyo were arrested on Sunday night and were taken to Nyamandlovu Police Station where they are detained.
The farm was invaded by ZANU PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and a handful of politically connected claimants last year before they were ordered to vacate the land by the courts.
Police accuse prominent rights advocate Siphosami Malunga and his colleagues of occupying state land without authority.
Malunga, who is being sought by the police over the same allegations brought against his colleagues, said on Sunday he was preparing to hand himself to the police.
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Posting on Twitter, Malunga condemned the police for the nocturnal arrests and seeming disregard for court decisions. He said:
Last night my co-directors at Esidakeni Farm were arrested. This is a blatant abuse of power, state resources, institutions and officials.
The aim is to undermine judicial decisions by the High and Supreme Courts; politically persecute us and violate our fundamental rights. We are not afraid!
There was no need to arrest them after our lawyers had arranged with the Nyamandlovu Police Officer in Charge Matangi to present ALL of us at the same time.
Why arrest them on Sunday night when they knew we were going there? I too will present myself. We have done nothing wrong!
Malunga and his colleagues purchased Esidakeni Estate, a former dairy farm, in 2017 after buying shares in Kershelmer Farms.
However, the government went on to list the 554-hectare property for compulsory acquisition in 2020.
The three challenged the gazetting of the property through the courts and the matter is still pending.
Lovemore Jiyane and Legina Muchimba, who said they are some of the beneficiaries offered land on the farm by the lands ministry, filed a police report against Malunga and his colleagues resulting in the arrests of Dhlamini and Moyo.