By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zapu accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of hypocrisy.
Government on Tuesday inked a US$3,5 billion compensation deal with white former commercial farmers for improvements on the land they lost during the 2000 land reform programme.
But Zapu on Friday described the farmers’ compensation deal as evil, claiming the white commercial farmers “used profits of our stolen land to build on it. Why should the Europeans continue to benefit from theft and its proceeds?
“The amazing hypocrisy in the Zanu PF refusal to acknowledge and deal with crimes against Zapu in the period 1982 to 1987 makes a mockery of their attempts to appear benevolent and magnanimous in the eyes of their masters in the West,” Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said.
“Zanu PF stole Zapu properties. The reasons for the act were unsustainable then and never have been other than that, like the original land grab, they had the power of arms to do so.”
Zipra, which was a military wing of Zapu during the armed struggle, had several properties under its holding company Nitram that government seized under Unlawful Organisation Act under (Caveat number 15 of 82) alleging that it had discovered arms caches, precipitating the Gukurahundi mass killings.
The Zipra ex-combatants have been pushing for the release of the properties such as farms and buildings and listed them as caveats in the title deeds, but without success.
“If (Finance minister) Mthuli Ncube is to salvage a semblance of decency from the ignominy that has come to define his tenure of office in government, he should forthwith deal with the plight of the Zipra and Zapu properties stolen by Zanu,” Maphosa added.
Zipra veterans bought several properties across the country with contributions from their demobilisation payouts.
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi claimed government would not return the properties because PF Zapu joined Zanu to form Zanu PF under the Unity Accord.
Zapu pulled out of the Unity Accord when it cut ties with Zanu PF in 2008.
Former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko once promised to facilitate the return of the seized properties, but without success.
According to a Zapu inventory, seized party properties include farms and hotels, among them Castle Arms in Bulawayo, Green Haven — a huge entertainment facility along Victoria Falls Road — and several residential properties.