NATIONAL University of Science and Technology (Nust) lecturer Dumisani Madzivanyati has claimed that he sustained head injuries after he was allegedly struck with an iron rod early this month by co-owners of the highly contested Kershelmar Farm in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North province.
Madzivanyati claims he was assaulted while preparing land on a portion of the farm measuring 50 hectares that was allocated to him by Lands minister Anxious Masuka.
The farm was co-owned by Zephania Dlamini, a scientist working at Nust, Siphosami Malunga, the son of late nationalist Sydney Malunga and Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa director, and businessman Charles Moyo before government acquired it.
In a written statement to the police, Madzivanyati claimed that the shareholders of the property assaulted him during a visit to a site allocated to him on July 7.
“At around 12:00 hours, the accused persons came to where I was and asked what I was doing at their farm. I replied that I was the owner of the farm that they passed. At around 13:00 hours, the accused persons came back to where I was working and started recording a video,” part of the statement read.
“I asked them what was transpiring and Dlamini started insulting me, stating that he was the rightful owner of the farm and also said…What you are trying to do with your government will fail because this case is in the courts.
“All the accused persons assaulted me. They struck me once on the head with an iron rod, once on the right arm with an unknown object, grabbed my T-shirt and struck me with fists all over the body.
“They also uprooted my fencing poles and took my wires, then cut them into pieces.”
A medical affidavit, now used as an exhibit, signed by a United Bulawayo Hospital doctor stated that: “patient (Madzivanyati) still has a pending investigation (brain CT scan) to be reviewed by the general surgeon.”
The matter is pending in court.
Dlamini, Moyo and Malunga have approached the Bulawayo High Court challenging the acquisition of the farm by government.
On Monday, through their lawyers Webb, Low and Barry, they filed a notice of opposition at the Bulawayo High Court seeking a stay of the farm acquisition.
“Court application for a decelerator on the invalidity of the acquisition of applicant’s land. Take note that the applicant intends to apply to the High Court sitting at Bulawayo for an order in terms of the Draft Order annexed to this notice and that the accompanying affidavit and documents will be used in support of the application,” the court papers read.
Lands minister, chief lands officer for Matabeleland North province, Registrar of Deeds, Gatsha Mazithulela (CIO co-deputy director general), Madzivanyati, Reason Mpofu and Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo are cited as first to seventh respondents respectively.
Mazithulela, Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, and Moyo have been accused of being behind the move to seize the farm.