Battle for the Land: Mliswa vs. Developers – A Million-Dollar Showdown

February 21, 2024
themba | Report Focus News
Mliswa alleges a $1 million bribe attempt to force him out of Muungwe, Lepasi Falls, and Utandi estates in Rusape.

A contentious battle over extensive land holdings involving former Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa, a private developer, and former minister Didymus Mutasa has become public, with Mliswa alleging his partners are attempting a land grab.

Mliswa asserts that he was offered a $1 million bribe to relinquish his stake in Muungwe Investments, the entity holding the titles to Muungwe, Lepasi Falls, and Utandi estates in Rusape. The disputed land is registered under Deed of Transfer number 7972/2008, Deed of Grant number 6600/2008, and Deed of Grant 8874/2008.

Directors of Muungwe Investments include Mliswa, Mutasa, Martin Naivada Mutasa, and Mabel Mananiseyi Maril Dete. Tensions escalated after minutes from a meeting on January 14 surfaced, purportedly authorizing Didymus Mutasa to engage in a land development agreement with Brobondo (Private) Limited concerning the contested land.

Mliswa, who holds a 10% stake in Muungwe Investments, held a press conference at the Media Centre in Harare, expressing concerns about the sophistication of corruption in the country. He disclosed that he rejected the $1 million offer, emphasizing the land’s value exceeded that amount.

Warning the public against purchasing stands on the disputed land, Mliswa stated that no shareholder or director resolution had sanctioned the development or sale of stands to the public, labeling the ongoing development as potentially fraudulent.

In response, Brobondo company’s CEO, Blessing Madanhe, dismissed Mliswa’s accusations as unfounded and insisted that the project was progressing. Madanhe highlighted the completion of the land survey for phase one, comprising 600 stands for residential, commercial, and industrial use. He asserted the company’s commitment to compliance with the country’s laws and questioned Mliswa’s motives for attacking them.

Mliswa confirmed legal proceedings against Brobondo under HCHC42/24 and indicated plans to involve law enforcement agencies in investigating potential criminal conduct. He cautioned the public against investing in the development until the legal dispute is resolved or proper corporate approvals are obtained.

The land dispute underscores the longstanding land issue in Zimbabwe, where individuals often associated with the ruling Zanu PF party face allegations of seizing and selling vast land tracts to desperate home seekers. The government’s recent crackdown on suspected illegal settlers triggered nationwide outcry and legal battles, leading to a temporary suspension of the eviction operation.