Zapu has rekindled the fight to reclaim its properties seized by the then Zanu PF government following the amalgamation of PF Zapu and Zanu in 1987 when the parties signed the Unity Accord in 1987.
Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa yesterday told NewsDay the party’s lawyers had started looking for title deeds of the properties in an effort to reclaim them.
Some Zapu members pulled out of the Unity Accord in 2008, citing President Robert Mugabe-led Zanu PF’s reported intransigence and failure to honour provisions of the agreement.
Government seized the properties, which included farms and buildings in Bulawayo, following a protracted civil war that led to the massacre of nearly 20 000 civilians suspected to be PF Zapu supporters in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces.
President Mugabe, then Prime Minister, and his government accused PF Zapu of engaging in acts of banditry.
PF Zapu properties were seized on allegations arms caches were hidden on party farms.
Several senior party officials, some of whom were in government, were arrested following the alleged discovery of arms of war on the PF Zapu properties.
Dabengwa yesterday said party lawyers were battling to locate title deeds to the properties although there were fears the government could have sold most of them.
“I cannot give you the names of the lawyers for security reasons. The fact is they are investigating. If that process is complete we will then go to the courts to claim the title deeds,” said Dabengwa.
Zapu’s regional coordinator for Matabeleland, Mark Mbayiwa said: “Our lawyers are approaching those who bought the properties. Properties such as Kudu Garage, Magnet House in Bulawayo, Snake Park in Harare and many other properties and farms are ours and are now under other people’s title deeds.”
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday said his party was not concerned about Zapu’s property claims.
“Whatever action they take on that issue is not my business,” Gumbo said.
“Why don’t they do the legal challenge? We are waiting for them. As a spokesperson I do not talk to the press in an individual capacity but I tell the press what the politburo will have approved and on that I cannot say anything much,” he said.