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Zanu-PF minister evicts war vets

by Staff reporter
06 Nov 2023 at 04:55hrs | Views
MATABELELAND North Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Richard Moyo has been sucked into a land grab storm in the wildlife-rich Gwayi area, where he is pushing for the eviction of war veterans to pave way for his Zanu-PF cronies.

Southern Eye heard that A1 farmers who were resettled on the timber and wildlife-rich Emmergroon Estate during the land reform programme in 2000 have been given notice to vacate the property.

The affected families include war veterans who were allocated communal wildlife conservancies on the estate, which is located along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway.

It is understood that Moyo recently sanctioned the allocation of 140 plots to Zanu-PF youths, mostly not from the area, on the Estate. The targeted area is owned by war veterans.

A war veteran, Fanny Tshuma, who is one of the affected farmers, said the new beneficiaries were "outsiders".

"At first, we were all made to believe that the beneficiaries of the plots were going to be children in this area," Tshuma said.

"We only saw these youths recently coming here claiming that they have been allocated the plots. We have stayed here for more than 20 years and our children have grown up and they also need land."

Another irate farmer and war veteran, Francisca Ncube (58), said their cattle no longer had grazing land after their land was parcelled out to Zanu-PF youths.

"Hunting and cattle farming is the core of our livelihoods here. If land meant for our cattle grazing is taken from us, how are we going to survive?"

Councillor Senzeni Sibanda said the local leadership was never consulted about Zanu-PF youths coming to the area to take land.

"When these people first invaded our land, we thought maybe the headman was secretly selling land to people. We only realised that this project had the blessings of big ‘chefs'," Sibanda said.

The headman, Doctor Ncube, said he only received a phone call from the ruling party's Lupane district chairperson informing him about the new development on the estate.

Moyo, who is also the Zanu-PF Matabeleland provincial chairperson, defended the land grab saying it was above board and sanctioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

"All the beneficiaries of the plots in Emmergroon Estate were handed their offer letters by President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the National Youth Day celebrations in Lupane in February. That land belongs to the State," Moyo said.

"The youths who benefited from the plots are Zimbabweans and they also deserve a piece of land like everybody else. If anyone has got complaints, they should come to my office rather than speak through journalists."

The new Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association leadership, led by its new chairperson Andrease Mathibela, visited the farm on a fact-finding mission on Thursday.

"No one should be allowed to surrender the land which they fought for," Mathibela said.

"I am very hurt by what is being done to the war veterans who were allocated their portions of land during the land reform programme. We should invoke war heroism and defend our land."

Source - southern eye