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Chiredzi Residents Accuse Minister Anxious Masuka of Land Grabbing for Cronies

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Harare – Chiredzi residents are protesting against Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development Minister Anxious Masuka, accusing him of seizing land and distributing it to his associates, according to Express Mail Zim.

Last year, Masuka was recognized as the Best Performing Minister at the 2022 Performance Evaluation Results and the signing ceremony for the 2023 performance contracts for Cabinet ministers and senior Government officials.

These new allegations starkly contrast with the government’s allocation of 750 hectares to Chiredzi Town Council for town expansion at Buffalo Range Farm along the Ngundu-Tanganda Road.

Sources, including some who were displaced after applying for the land, informed Express Mail Zim that influential figures, led by Masuka, were assigning residential and commercial stands.

“Our top party leaders need to be aware of what’s happening in Chiredzi. Locals who were born and raised here are being excluded from land allocation, even though the government under President Emmerson Mnangagwa approved our applications for land at Buffalo Range in 2017. The land has already been divided by bigwigs in Masvingo without our district authorities’ knowledge. Minister of Lands Masuka is a major culprit, causing division in our province,” said a source who requested anonymity.

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Other top officials implicated in the alleged land grab at Buffalo Range include Godfrey Huruva Mukungunurwa, Shepherd Matavire (Ministry of Lands), Veronica Muzondo, Mr. Chivandire, and Mr. Svondo from the Lands Ministry. These officials are said to have allocated themselves residential and commercial stands, including shops and service stations.

This situation has exacerbated a backlog of over 20,000 people on Chiredzi Town Council’s residential stands waiting list since 2014.

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Masuka has previously faced allegations of land grabbing. He once clashed with former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s sister, Rosemary Chidakwa, evicting her from a Mazowe farm and handing it over to Monica Mavhunga. This dispute ended up in court.

Recently, the award-winning minister, known for his preference for khaki outfits, received USD 500 from President Mnangagwa to buy a formal suit at a gathering in Murewa.

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Efforts to obtain a comment from Masuka were unsuccessful despite repeated attempts by this publication.

This controversy raises concerns about the transparency of the land allocation process, which President Mnangagwa has stated should benefit local communities, in line with the policies of the Second Republic.

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