HUNDREDS of Zanu PF youths yesterday defied a High Court order and besieged the Anglican Church land in Chitungwiza where they maintained the disputed property should be parcelled out to them.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The youths gathered at the land in question from 9am where they said they were expecting to be addressed by their party leaders.
The High Court last week granted the Anglican Church an order to remove the youths from its land.
Recently, nearly 1 000 youths disrupted a church service at St Mary’s Parish and held hostage the congregants as they claimed the church unlawfully acquired the land during the colonial era.
After the High Court ruling, order prevailed, but the youths yesterday mobilised to reclaim the land.
Already, some of the invaders have dug foundations and brought bricks at the disputed land as they move towards construction of structures.
Reports indicated that graders will be moving in soon to clear the land to pave way for total acquisition of the land.
“This is our land and we are going nowhere,” one of the youths declared.
“Our leaders are coming here to address us and soon, you will be seeing structures here. There is no going back here. We have instructions from our leaders to stay put on this land.”
Some of the youths could be seeing imbibing beer at the disputed land while singing party songs.
However, spokesperson of the Anglican Bishop in the Diocese of Harare, Precious Shumba, called on Zanu PF leaders to call their youths to order.
Recently, the church appealed to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to intervene.
“We condemn the lawlessness that is being promoted by these desperate people hiding behind Zanu PF,” Shumba said. “The Anglican Church has a right to its property and we hope the authorities will respect the order granted. Lawlessness destroys the nation’s hope of economic and social recovery. The leadership of Zanu PF is not above the laws of this country and they must be held accountable. We expect the police to decisively deal with this matter and remove all illegal occupants from our land.”
MDC-T councillor for the area, Francis Marambakutongwa, said the matter was discussed at the last council meeting and it was resolved that the youths should leave.
“We agreed to file a police report and we are also waiting for a response from a committee set up to deal with this issue,” he said.
The local community has been surviving on growing crops at the disputed area while waiting for the church to build a vocational centre to benefit thousands of unemployed people, mostly youths.