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Mnangagwa, Zapu cross swords over seized properties

by Staff reporter
09 Jul 2020 at 07:22hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has angered opposition Zapu leaders after he met them shortly before the November 2017 coup and early last year where he pledged to return their seized properties before his government made a Uturn last week and directed that the assets be transferred to the ruling Zanu-PF party.

In a letter dated June 26, 2020, Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri wrote to Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) acting chairperson Johannes Makadho directing him to transfer one of the properties, Nijo Estate in Harare to Zanu-PF.

Part of the letter read: "It is noted that Nijo Estate, comprising eight properties as reflected in General Notice 286 of 1983, were handed over to ARDA in October 1984.

Cognisant of the ownership history of this property, His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe, Cde ED Mnangagwa has authorised the transfer of the estate to Zanu-PF, hence this submission to you to inform the board accordingly."

Nijo Estate is part of Zapu properties which were confiscated in the 1980s. Zapu has been petitioning the government to release the properties without success.

Among the properties confiscated are Magnet House, Kudu Motors, Hampton Farm, Ascot Farm, Nest Egg Farm, Woodyglen Farm, Nijo Estate, Mbalabala Garage, Nyamandlovu Farm, Snake Park and Salisbury Motel in Harare. They were owned by Zipra through its investment vehicle, Nitram (Pvt) Ltd.

Zapu said Nitram was formed on July 8, 1980 and had two founding directors, the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and Isaac Nyathi.

Martin Ralph Adies, whose first name was spelt backwards to become Nitram, was the secretary.

Zapu spokesperson Mthulisi Maphosa said the confiscation of the properties by Zanu-PF was a betrayal and showed Mnangagwa's deceptive character.

The party claimed Mnangagwa, in December 2019, promised to return the properties.

"Mnangagwa promised to return all the properties to Zapu during discussions prior to his 2017 coup. In a bid to seek support from Zapu and Zipra, he promised to return the properties by December 2019," Maphosa said.

"It, however, does not surprise us that six months after the missed deadline, chief commander of Gukurahundi, Perrance Shiri, is transferring the same to Zanu-PF."

However, Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu dismissed Maphosa's claims, saying the Zapu that was led by Nkomo joined Zanu-PF under the Unity Accord in 1987.

"We don't know that party. The Zapu we know joined Zanu-PF and its properties are now being jointly owned by Zanu-PF," Mpofu said.

According to Maphosa, before the late Dumiso Dabengwa left Zanu-PF to resuscitate Zapu

In 2008, he met Shiri to discuss the return of the properties. Shiri, however, reportedly referred them to Zanu-PF.

He said a delegation that was led by Freddy Mtanda met Mnangagwa last year on the issue and the Zanu-PF leader promised to return the properties seized by the government under the Unlawful Organisation Act in 1982 (Caveat No 15 of 82) for Bulawayo Properties and ZXN-9/82 for Harare properties and transferred in January 1987 to the President of Zimbabwe.

The opposition party has threatened legal action over the matter.

Source - newsday