President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sucked into the raging land scandal involving Billy Rautenbach and Aspindale 48 and 49 residents in Kambuzuma who are refusing to be evicted.
The President who has made fighting corruption one of his policy staples allegedly sent Jorum Gumbo to warn the residents to drop their court cases against Rautenbach whom they accuse of trying to forcefully take over their stands.
Cooperative representatives for the residents circulated a message that alleged that they had been summoned by the Minister of State in the President’s Office Jorum Gumbo.
Gumbo is alleged to have told the cooperative leaders that Rautenbach helped the government and they had to leave him alone.
Journalist Hopewell Chinon’o, responding to Norton MP Temba Mliswa, also spoke about the issue and alleged that Gumbo was acting at the behest of Mnangagwa.
“Don’t say some politicians Temba Mliswa. Say Joram Gumbo was send by Emmerson Mnangagwa to tell them that, and also to intimidate them into withdrawing their court case!”.
“This is why I always say to you that the man you support is involved in corruption Temba! Accept it & say it!”.
The residents were also allegedly warned to stop engaging Temba Mliswa and Kambuzuma legislator Willias Madzimure (MDC Alliance) from helping in their case.
Mliswa has however been defiant.
“If it’s true that the Minister (Gumbo) gave that position why can’t he put it in black and white if its a legal and moral position. They are people who have a tendency to abuse the President/Minister’s name”.
The area under occupation was gazetted for settlement by the government in 2010 following which the cooperatives received offer letters for the area.
The offer letter was then cancelled by the Ministry of Local Government in 2018.
Following the cancellation of the offer letters representatives of the cooperative wrote to the Ministry arguing that the move was ‘unlawful, unreasonable, disproportionate and substantively and procedurally unfair”.
Since then Marimba Properties has been seeking to either evict the residents or forcefully making them sign agreements to buy the stands in US$ a move being resisted by the residents.
Marimba Properties is headed by Colonel R Matonhodze (Rtd), who is the company Director and Derrick Elliot, the firm’s legal advisor.