By Munesu Nyakudya
The Justice Uchena Land Commission report was released last year and calls for investigations into myriad suspicious land deals involving mainly ZANU PF members and politically connected individuals.
Broken down the report makes for a compelling reading of the political nature of the land baron scourge in Zimbabwe.
Cases recommended for further investigations are Harare Metropolitan province, which has 156 cases; Mashonaland East 120, Mashonaland West (50), Midlands (27), Mashonaland Central (25), Manicaland (22) and Masvingo 21.
Matabeleland North, South and Bulawayo metropolitan provinces with 5 cases each have the least number of land baron cases.
Of the 75 suspects, 25 have appeared in court and their cases are still pending.
Prominent names recommended for investigation in the Harare land audit report include former First Lady Grace Mugabe, former Cabinet Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, ex-Local Government permanent secretary Engineer George Mlilo, ex-Cabinet minister Ms Nyasha Chikwinya, businessman Dr Philip Chiyangwa, former Harare South legislator Mr Shadreck Mashayamombe and Mr Nhamo Tutisani.
Dr Chombo is accused of unlawfully taking several stands which had been handed over to the Ministry of Local Government and registering them under his three companies.
Showing the government’s complicit nature in scandals three Local Government officials — Mrs Rejoice Pazvakavambwa, Mrs Rhory Shawatu and Mrs Ruramai Chembwa are also accused of involvement in land scams.
Former ZIFA President and current COSAFA leader Phillip Chiyangwa is also involved in shady land deals through his Pinnacle Properties.
In Norton, there is also a grouping of land barons who are involved in messy fights with residents.
Most prominent is ZANU PF’s Cuthbert Mpame, legislator for Zvishavane-Runde, through his Maparahwe Properties which is the supposed developer for Kingsdale.
Killer Zivhu has also had altercations with Galloway residents with accusations that he sold stands without owning title deeds.
Justice Mayor Wadyejena, the Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator has also been fingered in another land scandal through a company called Adoregold which allegedly fleeced Mashlands residents in Norton.
Businessman Billy Rautenbach has also been involved in land issues most prominently in his fight for Aspindale 48 and 49 in Kambuzuma.
Additional to all these political heavyweights the Lands Commission also found out that some of the land invaders were home-seekers, war veterans, co-operatives members and land developers.