WAR VETERAN and MDC Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Pilate Ndebele has waded into the ex-Zipra property saga saying Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa must “shut up” because he lacked understanding of the history of Zapu and its military wing Zipra.
BY SILAS NKALA
Ndebele said the annexed ex-Zipra combatants’ properties that Mutasa claimed now belonged to Zanu PF were bought through contributions of individual Zapu and ex-Zipra members and Zanu PF had no legal right to deprive them of their belongings.
“Mutasa appears to be ignorant of Zapu and Zipra’s history and it is better for him to shut up and let people like (current Zapu leader) Dumiso Dabengwa comment about those properties,” said Ndebele.
“We paid money to buy those properties and they are our properties as ex-Zipra members collectively. Even those bought by Zapu, the money came from members who contributed and they must be returned.”
Mutasa had said that it was not possible for Zapu properties to be returned because there were still former Zapu members such as current Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo still upholding the 1987 Unity Accord.
Zapu, which was then led by the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, was merged into Zanu PF under the Unity Accord and Mutasa said as a result, anything that belonged to the veteran nationalist’s party was now property of the ruling party.
The war of words was ignited by President Robert Mugabe’s December 22 plea for those who deserted him to rejoin Zanu PF.
Following Mugabe’s appeals, Zapu issued a statement declining to reunite with Zanu PF citing failure by the ruling party to honour the Unity Accord promises such as the return of Zapu and Zipra properties as well as its continued refusal to publicly apologise for perpetrating the Gukurahundi massacres which resulted in the deaths of more than 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and some parts of the Midlands.
Ndebele, said Khaya Moyo, who Mutasa refers to, had no clue about how Zipra acquired the properties.
“If you ask him about these issues he will refer you to Dabengwa. Dabengwa, who was part of the Zipra high command, knows all about Zapu and Zipra properties.
He is the only person now who can talk authoritatively about those properties. Mutasa or Khaya Moyo know nothing. What they can only talk about is the so-called Unity Accord,period.”