Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, last week appeared at a joint press conference with Lands minister, Douglas Mombeshora, and rapped some small-time land barons which his counterpart said were being hunted by the police.
Kasukuwere expressed concern at peri-urban illegal settlements mushrooming as land barons sell land to desperate home seekers.
“We want to call upon our people to desist from buying and following individuals who will tell them that there is land available for sale.
“There is no such (thing) until they prove that they have a developer’s permit and have been sanctioned by the State, and have the necessary authority and the key infrastructure has been put in place. There should be roads, water and sewer system,” he said.
However, President Robert Mugabe recently accused Kasukuwere of illegally selling land to numerous shady companies and individuals when it was supposed to be used to build houses for thousands of ruling Zanu PF youths.
A leaked dossier showed that popular Pentecostal church leader, Walter Magaya of the Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries and Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Jonathan Moyo, were among the high profile beneficiaries of the land
Also conspicuous in the dossier were several top Zanu PF members linked to party faction, Generation 40 (G40) to which both Kasukuwere and Moyo are said to belong.
Even though disgruntled Zanu PF youths had indicated that they would demonstrate against Kasukuwere, the party national organiser, for denying them the opportunity to own houses, the euphoria has since died down and the minister has not been questioned.
Following Mugabe’s outburst at Kasukuwere who is rumoured to have millions of dollars through the sale of the land, there was speculation that the Local Government minister would be arrested immediately.
Mombeshora said the police were on the hunt for land barons in rural Seke and Norton.
“Following information received from the public, the law enforcement agents are currently looking for one Mr Gombiro and a Mr Juche who are alleged to have been parcelling out State land at Kimcott and Xekene Farms (in Seke) respectively. We warn individuals engaged in the same illegal activities that the long arm of the law will catch up with them soon.
“Government is determined to bring these individuals to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
Over the years, Mugabe has admitted that his ministers and public sector officials are corrupt, but has hardly taken action against them.
International indices show that Zimbabwe is among the most corrupt countries in the world.