Zephaniah Dhlamini

Zephaniah Dhlamini is a Zimbabwean academic and the director of the National University of Science and Technology’s (Nust) Applied Genetics Testing Centre.

In June 2021 there were reports that the Government seized Esidakeni Farm co-owned Dhlamini, Open Society of Southern Africa (OSISA) executive director Siphosami Malunga and Charles Moyo.


Zephaniah Dhlamini studied at John Tallach High School and Mzilikazi High School before enrolling at the University of Zimbabwe where he graduated with a Bsc Agriculture Honours in Crop Science and later an MSc in Biotechnology.[1]

Service / Career

From January 1997 to March 2002, Zephaniah Dhlamini was a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. He then joined the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as an Associate Professional Officer. He held the post from March 2002 to March 2005.

From April 2005 to January 2006, Dhlamini was employed by the IAEA as a Plant Molecular Biology Consultant. He came back to Zimbabwe and joined NUST as a lecturer in October 2006. [1]

Zephaniah Dhlamini was among the frontline workers in Bulawayo leading the city’s Covid-19 tests in April 2020 when Zimbabwe started grappling with the pandemic. [2]


Seizure of Farm

In June 2021 there were reports that the Government seized a farm co-owned by Dhlamini, Siphosami Malunga and Charles Moyo. The land in question is registered under a deed of transfer 1980/90, under the name of Kershelmar Farms (Private) Limited, then called Esidakeni Farm. [3]

The Herald reported that the reports Government had repossessed a farm co-owned by Dhlamini and his two partners were false. The report stated that the farm was compulsorily acquired by Government under the Land Reform Programme in 2004 from a white farmer. (Although other records, including court records, show it was purchased in 2017 by them and title deeds were transferred.)

Malunga and his partners later bought a shadowy company that claimed to own the farm but did not have exclusive ownership of the land in question since it had been acquired by the Government almost two decades before. (Again, records show it was acquired by the government in 2020 via a Notice of Acquisition General Notice 3042 that appeared in a government gazette - hardly 20 years/two decades before 2022)

Matabeleland North Province Minister of State Richard Moyo said when Government compulsorily acquired land in the 2000s it did not immediately resettle people because there was a black man by the name Eddie Warambwa who claimed to have bought the farm from the white man identified as Swindells. Moyo said it was only after Warambwa's death that Government realised that he was a front for the white man and measures were taken to repossess the land. Moyo denied Government was victimizing Dhlamini and his business partners.

The report by The Herald further stated that Dhlamini and his business partners were using only 30 hectares out of the 500ha and at some point during land inspection, they submitted the sale of shares document which was however deemed fraudulent as it was not signed.

Further, sources close to Dhlamini and his business partners told the publication that the trio could also not apply to Government because one of them has a farm in Bubi measuring 1600ha which he benefited from the Land Reform programme.[4]

Esidakeni Farm

In 2022, Zephaniah Dhlamini, along with Siphosami Malunga and Charles Moyo were joint owners of Esidakeni Farm, and a great deal of controversy around it.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Zephaniah Dhlamini, LinkedIn, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: June 15, 2021
  2. Nqobile Tshili, WATCH: Nust director applies genetics to farming, The Chronicle, Published: May 25, 2021, Retrieved: June 15, 2021
  3. Mandla Tshuma, Govt grabs land from Nust director, CITE, Published: June 14, 2021, Retrieved: June 15, 2021
  4. Malunga farm grab claims false, The Herald, Published: June 15, 2021, Retrieved: June 15, 2021