FIVE houses belonging to suspected allies of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare’s New Msasa Park suburb were demolished on Wednesday as Zanu PF factional fights took an ugly turn.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The houses were built on land donated to two Zanu PF co-operatives, Mukuvisi Tashinga and Tushashe, by Msasa (Private) Limited in 2008 and about 1 200 ruling party members have since been allocated stands.
According to witnesses, rival Zanu PF members armed with shovels, picks and metal bars were allegedly moving around targeting homes reportedly owned by Mnangagwa sympathisers.
One of the affected residents, Fred Matanga, confirmed that factionalism was at play, saying he had lost thousands of dollars worth of property and cash to the illegal demolitions, which were not sanctioned by the courts.
“They came here at around 10:30am, but I was not home. I then heard from neighbours who asked if we were leaving the place because property had been loaded into a truck by this group of 15 known Zanu PF members,” Matanga said.
“When I got home, they said they wanted to demolish the house and dump our property about 200 metres away. I was about to leave for South Africa, where I am employed, but I cannot see my passport anymore and bus fare. My mother kept a lot of money here and she has gone to file a report at Hatfield Police Station.”
Matanga added: “This is really disturbing because we have been left homeless. It’s like we are paralysed now. It’s very true that factional politics is at play here.”
Residents later mobilised to stop the demolitions, forcing the demolition team, suspected to belong to the G40 faction in Zanu PF, to flee for their lives.
Blessing Zimbiti said he watched helplessly when his house was being demolished and there was nothing he could do because of fear.
“They were many and intimidating. There was nothing I could do to stop them,” he said.
Zimbiti confirmed the demolition team fled after angry residents threatened to “deal with them” since they failed to produce a court order empowering them to demolish the houses.
Suspended former Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs in Harare, Dan Musukuma, said even though he did not own a stand on the disputed land, he had unearthed serious embezzlement of funds by a group of land barons who were fleecing home-seekers.
He said residents who supported him were now under siege.
“Factional politics is now allowed to interfere and tamper with the social security of the people, but unfortunately, this is harm that is being imposed upon innocent people by other people of the same political party,” Musukuma said.
“I really want to believe that politics is at play here and there are certain people that are now falling victim of being alleged to be associated with one person one way or the other. It’s factional politics.”
Police in Harare said they were still looking for details of the matter.