CHIREDZI - Chiredzi District Lands Officer Honest Mapfumo, who reportedly testified to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) against corrupt land allocations in Chiredzi, has been transferred to the Agriculture ministry’s head office, TellZim can report.
Attempts to reach Mapfumo for a comment were futile as his mobile phone was unreacheable. However, a letter dated May 20 which was signed by Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr John Bhasera orders Mapfumo to begin his new duties at the head office on May 31 pending reassignment.
“The Ministry has received reports concerning administrative challenges on your performance in Chiredzi District, Masvingo Province.
“In light of this development, I have decided that you be recalled from Chiredzi District Office and reassigned new duties at Head Office in Harare. You aretherefore required to assume duty in Harare with effect from 31 May 2021.
“Meanwhile, on receipt of this minute, you are required to start the handover-takeover of your current duties and assignments with the Member appointed by the Acting Provincial Lands Officer,” reads the letter.
Sources said Mapfumo was likely to be demoted after his testimony to Zacc implicated many powerful politicians who then complained about him to his Harare bosses.
A few months ago, ZACC visited Chiredzi at the request by a young farmer Tungamirai Rukatya who complained that senior politicians in the province had irregularly taken ownership of his land and shared it amongst themselves.
He also complained that another piece of land owned by one Tony Sapo, and which is protected under a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (Bippa) has also been seized.
At a Zanu PF inter-district meeting held at Chitsanga Hall a few weeks ago, Zanu PF Chiredzi District Coordinating Committee (DCC) chairperson Siyaki Mundungehama complained that land was being allocated without knowledge of the local Lands office, and that the allocations were largely benefitting non-locals.
Meanwhile, many Chiredzi business people with political connections are said to have bought prime land near Chitsanga Hills at give away prices.