THE Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu has this year resolved to intensify pressure on President Robert Mugabe to release its properties seized by the government at the height of the Gukurahundi era.
BY SILAS NKALA
Zapu deputy spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa said party members were increasingly growing impatient and frustrated by the government’s delays in returning Zapu and Zipra (Zapu’s military wing) properties that were confiscated by Mugabe and his Zanu PF government during a brutal crackdown that is commonly referred to as Gukurahundi.
“There is legal action currently underway, but our members are showing signs of impatience and have been calling on the leadership to allow them to go into the streets to demand their properties back unconditionally,“ he said.
“Members feel the demonstrations will help highlight the issue and its urgency, as the frustrations stem from difficulties the party is facing to meet its financial needs and economic loss particularly on farms that were taken away with all that was on them like thousands of livestock and machinery.”
Mugabe used the military to crack down on then opposition leader later turned Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, accusing his wartime colleague of amassing weapons with a view to deposing his government.
Reports say Zipra, during the confiscation of its properties, also lost over 4 000 cattle that were on their farms expropriated by the Zanu PF government.
Maphosa said the party leadership, however, had called for patience from its members, while they explored legal routes.
He, however, warned that Zapu could fail to contain the former fighters.
“The structures argue that the properties are being used by the regime in its fight to keep Zapu financially-challenged and limit its activities, knowing fully well the party does not enjoy external funding and sponsorship as is the case with Zanu PF, who enjoy such privileges from the British since 1963 and now from the Chinese,” Maphosa said.
“They are adamant repossessing our properties will address all our challenges, which stem from this evil strategy by Mugabe and his Zanu PF.
“While the legal action continues, the Zapu membership believes all avenues need to be explored to peacefully regain the lost properties, starting with Magnet House in Bulawayo and Snake Park in Harare.”
Zapu recently faced legal action from a Bulawayo property owner, who wanted the party evicted from the premises due to failure to pay rentals.