Zanu PF unleashes property invasions

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ZANU PF activists in Mbare have taken over a piece of land measuring about 3 000 square metres which they have fenced and are subdividing into market stalls, amid fears that the party had rekindled its invasion of council properties.

A new illegal fleamarket has sprung up on the open space between the Mbare flyover bridge along Cameron Street and Magaba
A new illegal fleamarket has sprung up on the open space between the Mbare flyover bridge along Cameron Street and Magaba

REPORT BY JOHN NYASHANU

When NewsDay visited the site yesterday, party activists were busy subdividing the area which is located just outside the CBD along Cameron Street.

Chairperson of the site who identified himself as Maruta said: “To be honest with you comrade, the first criterion is you have to be a member of Zanu PF. Any other requirement is secondary,” he said.

A makeshift Zanu PF vetting office has already been established at the site.
According to party officials at the site, about 100 stalls are to be erected and allocation would be strictly on party lines.

Maruta advised the NewsDay crew to make follow-ups with one “Comrade Chabvonga”, whom he said would be in charge of the allocations.

In 2010, Zanu PF youths invaded several council properties including Carter House claiming the takeover was in line with the party’s indigenisation policy. Other sites that the Zanu PF activists invaded with impunity included an open space adjacent to Cleveland House along Speke Avenue between Leopold Takawira Street and Cameron Street in the city centre.

Contacted for comment over the latest invasions, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Amos Midzi professed ignorance over the matter.
“I have no idea about that, I will have to check before giving a statement,” said Midzi.

Efforts to get comment from council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi were unsuccessful as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Vendors operating at an adjacent site expressed fear that the fresh invasions could trigger a disease outbreak as there are no ablution facilities nearby. They also said it was unfair for Zanu PF members to allocate market stalls along political party lines.

“Segregating opposition party members will not take this country anywhere. What message are they sending out there? Is it a crime to belong to a party of one’s choice? I think our leaders have been very open on the need to be tolerant,” said one vendor who identified himself as Tapiwa Mupezeni.