The case highlights the porous nature of government’s land reforms and how productive land grabbed from white farmers has turned fallow and is being used for speculative purposes.
Mama Mafuyana, as the late vice-president’s wife is popularly known, died in 2003, but her name remains a cash cow for a clique that has been parcelling out pieces of the land for as much as US$10 000 per 0,2 hectares.
Government forced out the owners of Glen Forest farm for urban expansion purposes and allocated land to a housing project for Zanu PF supporters.
Most of the farm, previously a thriving maize and cattle operation, is now under the hammer.
A real estate agent selling the land said individual beneficiaries were queuing up to dispose of the land for cash.
Posing as a prospective buyer, a Zimbabwe Independent reporter was offered part of the land, but was told to wait for two months for “papers to be regularised”. Fingold Real Estate agency has been conducting the sales.
The firm’s managing director, only identified as Mrs V Aleck, said sales had temporarily been stopped because of problems in locking in transfers to new owners.
“Currently there are no title deeds, maybe if you can check after two months,” she said.
The late Mama Mafuyana’s daughter, Thandiwe Nkomo, said she was aware of the housing project, but had no idea that beneficiaries were now selling the land. She said her family was not involved in the running of the project.
“I can’t remember who is behind the housing cooperative. It’s been years since I last interacted with people from the Mama Mafuyana Housing Cooperative,” she said.
Commercial Farmers Union president Deon Theron said his organisation, which represents most of the evicted white farmers, had received such a report. Most of the people who were allocated the land were Zanu PF supporters.
“It’s a criminal offence because no one can sell land that was acquired by the government, especially without title deeds,” he said.
Lands and Resettlement minister Hebert Murerwa was unavailable for comment.
The land, identified in acquisition papers as Remaining Extent of Glen Forest of Borrowdale Estate, measures 149,029 hectares and was invaded by militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe in 2002 during the haphazard farm occupations. It officially became state land under the Constitutional Amendment Number 17 of 2005.— Staff Writer.