Land baron ‘on the run’ after arrest calls

Douglas Mombeshora

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
18 June 2014

A former ZANU PF official in the Makoni district, James Munetsi, is reportedly “on the run” after the Minister of Lands called for his arrest.

Douglas Mombeshora has ordered Munetsi’s arrest, on allegations of illegal land dealings in the Ministry’s name. According to a report by the Manica Post, Mombeshora said that Munetsi “abused the name of his Ministry by illegally allocating land and asking people to pay for it.”

A recent report in the Herald newspaper named Munetsi as being involved in a scam, where he promised to assist about 240 people acquire farms and plots. The report stated that these people, mainly located in the Diaspora, were asked to pay a ‘fee’ of up to $2,000 to begin the land allocation process.

Munetsi is understood to have told people that he could influence land allocation officials, and needed the fees to do so. He then stopped communications with the victims of the scam, after being paid.

A local church, Faith in God Ministries, allegedly fell victim to this scam which the Herald claimed “might be a tip of the iceberg.” There are believed to be a number of aspiring farmers duped by such scams involving Land Ministry officials and politicians.

Munetsi was the latest ZANU PF official to be named in a series of exposés uncovering the extent of corruption in Zimbabwe. The reports have surfaced predominantly in the state media, raising suspicions about the real purpose of the corruption claims. Some observers have questioned if the reports are more to do with the infighting rocking ZANU PF than a real commitment to eradicating corruption.

Alouis Munyaradzi Chaumba of the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) told SW Radio Africa that more needs to be done to stamp out corruption, but the government lacks the political will to do so.

“We need a total paradigm and cultural shift in governance and education, and we need a new breed of leaders in public office. I have never believed that the government has the political will to tackle corruption,” Chaumba said.

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