BY NIZBERT MOYO ZANU PF Bulawayo province chairperson Jabulani Sibanda has demanded that government returns all Zipra-owned properties to Zapu war veterans.
Speaking on Friday during the official opening of the SAI Mart shop in Entumbane, Bulawayo, by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Sibanda said the Zipra properties should be returned physically and not through media promises.
Chiwenga was accompanied to the event by his new wife, Miniyothabo Baloyi, who is an army colonel.
“Acting President, here in Matabeleland, there are some farms that are owned by war veterans, not those that were acquired during the Land Act. When we were at the assembly points, we contributed money from our meagre salaries to buy those properties. Some of the properties have been returned, while others have not been returned due to paperwork challenges,’” Sibanda said.
“Today, you visited us with a hero’s mind and attitude, and so I want to take this opportunity through that window into your heart to say please do not release those farms through newspapers, release them physically so that we have access to them.”
Sibanda said two brand new buses belonging to Zenzeleni Super Express co-operative were burnt to shells during the Gukurahundi era.
He said the lives of co-operative members were thrown into turmoil after they lost the buses.
Sibanda also expressed reservations over government’s tendency of exporting labour to Matabeleland from the country’s other regions, which has deprived locals of employment.
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He said there was need to check residence of those employed at shops to ensure they are locals.
Chiwenga did not immediately respond to the issues raised about Zipra properties.
However, calls for government to return the Zipra properties have grown louder, with the opposition Zapu threatening to report the matter to international courts.
Zipra war veterans have called on the Zanu PF-led government to also remove the barriers that are blocking them from acquiring their multi-million dollar properties.
They argue that they want those properties to benefit their children before they die.