Letter from America: Mnangagwa badly advised on war with land barons!

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as sovereign Trustee, assumes the role of paramount chief and trustee of ancestral lands.

I have lived three separate lives.

The most memorable, traumatic  and brutal was my short stay as Zapu representative in Kingston, Jamaica.

All the problems of a post-colonial state and the depredations of the World Bank were tried and tested there.

The problem of homelessness was incurable because the land was owned by foreign companies and their local surrogate landlords.

Even the poorest tenant in Spanish Town, who put up two iron sheets over his head, paid rent to some landlord.

I realised then (1973) that Africans were lucky to have a communal land ownership held in trust by chiefs and elders.

Surprisingly, there was an area where homelessness did not exist because the maroons,  wild ganja (mbanje) smoking African tribespeople, who had slavery and civilisation to the mountains, kept their land in communal ownership.

I paid attention to the fact that Zimbabwe could escape massive homelessness if tribal communal land systems were preserved as a refugee of last resort for those who wanted to retire from urban life.

The colonial government kept tribal lands under a Trust, entitled Tribal Trust Lands.

This fits in with the Bantu idea that the chief holds the land in trust, on behalf of the ancestors.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as sovereign Trustee, assumes the role of paramount chief and trustee of ancestral lands.

The Communal Land Act obviously entrusts chiefs to administer the law with the president as chief guardian. The president is the big eagle that keeps an eye on the goings on, as trustee in chief.

That is what will prevent homelessness. Budling homes in the rural areas and adding infrastructure like wells and electricity is a  vehicle to development.

The diaspora has been a major vehicle in this development.

So, where has the president been misled as trustee in chief.

There is a hierarchy, the village chief, and the local paramount chief, which must not be bypassed. All the sinners, the land barons, are Zanu PF operatives.

The president cannot act arbitrarily. 

In my paternal village, my brothers and I have applied for a permit to build a K-7 Grade school to save seven-year-olds from traveling 10 kilometres to Nyachuru School near Howard Mission.

It is this sacred right to return and contribute that keeps homelessness under control in Africa.

The right to return and to build near tribal relatives as a basis for development. It is also an investment of a lifetime.

I am told that the new builders in the rural areas have forgotten their benefactor, Zanu PF, and that is the reason they are being chased away.

Burning their houses and making them homeless may win some battles, but in the long run only serve to bolster Nelson Chamisa’s prophesies.

The president has been made aware of abuse of land allocation by Zanu PF land barons. I do not know of any land barons, who do not derive their authority from membership of Zanu PF.

In my research in Rusape and Saunyama paramountcy, the godfather of all land barons was Brother Didymus Mutasa.

In Saunyama country, he had chased away a wicked Dutch farmer by the name of Daneel, who was so cruel he did not allow the natives to use their carts on a public road.

The farm was divided into 10 sub-sections and Mutasa’s name was revered there.

In addition to Saunyama resettlement, I was told that as many as 247 people had acquired some property or land through his influence in Rusape urban area as well.

The settlers at Mapuranga behind Halfway House owe their luck to Mutasa as indeed are the two white farmers who escaped eviction.

Obviously, some settlements were under the radar while others must have been legitimate. But surely, all these settlers have been there since 2006 at least, when I did my research.

I have before me a photo of some villagers thrown out of their village at Nyandeni in Matabeleland South.

Among the victims were Elizabeth Ndlovu (91) years old.

My information is that Nyandeni village was settled in 1998 as a payout to villagers, who promised support to Zanu PF land barons.

That is a quarter of a century ago.

Where in heaven’s name does one think Elizabeth Ndlovu (91) will go?

Last week I received an email from Moven Mavhiki, a horticultural farmer in Chiredzi.

The photo showed his prosperous eight-foot tomato plants. He was given 48 hours to leave his livelihood.

The image of Mai Bhila in Chiredzi, who offered to be overrun by a Zanu PF truck as a sacrifice has gone viral. Government officers were on their way to destroy her house in which she had put in her life savings.

The solution is to protect the settlers while punishing the land barons who may have acted extra legally.

The proliferation of illegal settlements is an internal Zanu PF matter. By allowing the matter to spread outside Zanu PF structures, the president attracts western vultures as I will explain below.

The displacement of settlers increases poverty. Poverty increases discontent. Zanu PF cannot override all discontent on the strength of the army and the police.

Damage to Zanu PF image lays a foundation for foreign interference. Such events attract USAID, the British MIV (a spook organisation) and lays the background for foreign intervention.

The divisions inside the CCC party, while giving breathing space to Zanu PF,  lay a foundation for secret marriages with foreign powers. I will not be surprised if some of the opposition fractures are financed by foreign powers.

When former president Barak Obama was getting ready to overthrow Libya’s Muammar Kaddafi, western intelligence operatives attached themselves to opposition parties, claiming that Kaddafi was murdering his own people.

We now know, in hindsight, that Libyan factions were financed by western powers because of their opposition to African unity.

I want to warn my brothers in Zanu PF that they are sleeping on a burning carpet.

*Ken Mufuka is a Zimbabwean patriot. He writes from the US.

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