Bulawayo businessman and National University of Science and Technology (NUST) lecturer, Dumisani Madzivanyati who was evicted from Esidakeni Farm in Nyamandlovu on Tuesday, has reportedly returned in defiance of a High Court eviction order.

Esidakeni Farm is co-owned by Siphosami Malunga, son of late nationalist Sydney Malunga and business partners Charles Moyo and Zephania Dhlamini, a scientist at NUST.

The farm has been at the centre of an ownership wrangle after the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, and Rural Resettlement Anxious Masuku reportedly acquired the farm measuring 553 hectares via a Notice of Acquisition General Notice 3042 of 2020 in the government gazette on December 18, 2020.

Madzivanyati was allocated 50 hectares of the farm.

Malunga and his associates then approached the High Court seeking a spoliation order directing Madzivanyati and others to stop interfering with their farm operations.

High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese ruled in their favour in early October giving Madzivanyati "24 hours from the date of this order to restore to the applicant possession of all its farming equipment including all irrigation pipes and machinery."

Acting on the court order, the deputy sheriff evicted Madzivanyati and his workers from the farm but they defied the order and returned to the farm a few hours after they had been kicked out.

In an interview with CITE, Dhlamini said they were pleased with the eviction order, as it showed that justice was being served.

"Well, we are happy that the wheels of justice are finally turning and that the law is taking its course. But when we went back to the farm around 5 pm, Madzivanyathi had gone there and ordered his people to go back and they returned. They hired a truck, which was ferrying people back into their houses," he said.

Dlamini added Madzivanyati instructed his workers to break the locks that had been set by the locksmith.

"After breaking the locks, they went back inside. We called the police and the anti-riot police came. They went to the field and arrested three guys who were used as gangsters but somehow their bosses informed police to warn them never to set foot on the farm again," he said.

"We left Madzivanyati's people outside the farm and locked the gate with the police but they broke the locks for the second time and went back again. They were now "busy watering as if nothing happened."

Dlamini described Madzivanyati's actions as a defiance of the laws of the land.

"This is defiance of the High Court, the Deputy Sheriff and police. They think they are above the law. The next move is they have to be arrested as they are in contempt of the court," he said.

Besides Madzivanyati, Malunga, the Central Intelligence Organisation's co-deputy director-general Gatsha Mzithulela, CIO operative Reason Mpofu have been identified as the ones behind the farm seizure.

Zanu PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu and Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo are also reportedly involved in the plot.

According to an offer letter seen by CITE, agriculture minister Masuka parcelled out 145 hectares of Esidakeni farm to Mpofu's company Mswelangubo Farm, in what critics viewed as corruption as the former minister already owns other farms.