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Zimbabwe Residents Block Zanu PF Urban Land Grabbing Scheme

FILE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C), surrounded by members of the military, is seen attending 25th anniversary Independence celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 18, 2005.

The Masvingo City Council is resisting demands by Zanu PF for land to allocate to its Youth League members for a national housing project designed only for President Robert Mugabe’s party activists.

The council has teamed up with local residents in an attempt to thwart Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his party’s moves to allegedly grab land for the housing project.

Opponents of the project say it is part of Zanu PF’s campaign strategy for the 2018 general election in which the party has already nominated President Robert Mugabe as its presidential candidate.

Council representatives and local people say it is impossible to give Zanu PF land as there are people who have been on the housing waiting list for many years.

Ward Four councillor, Godfrey Kurauone, told Studio 7 that Kasukuwere and his party activists should not be given special treatment.

“We as Masvingo City Council we don’t have land for any political party be it Zanu PF or any other party. We have a normal procedure that should be followed by everyone so the youths should follow that and join the waiting list after buying their lodgers’ card. We don’t have land for them.”

Masvingo mayor, Hubert Fidze, told a regional newspaper that Kasukuwere won’t be given any land by the local authority.

Masvingo resident, Netsai Matowo of Majange high density suburb, said the move by Zanu PF
is not fair as she has been on the housing waiting list for a long time.

“It’s so painful that we have been on the waiting list for about three years but we read in the newspapers that Kasukuwere and his youths want to grab 2,000 stands. What about us who are not party supporters. We are all Zimbabweans and should be treated fairly.”

Masvingo United Residents and Rate Payers Alliance director, Anoziva Muguti, warned Zanu PF against flexing its political muscle through grabbing council land for political purposes.

“As residents we are strongly against political parties using their political muscle to grab residential land. What we want is the city council to use the normal procedure and distribute residential stands in the city. We do not want partisan distribution of residential land here in Masvingo.”

“Although efforts to get a comment from Kasukuwere were fruitless, Zanu PF youth leader, Talent Majoni said his party will go ahead with the land grab and thanked the President Robert Mugabe led ruling party for empowering the young people through such programmes.”
Majoni attacked the city council and residents for standing against the programme.

“First of all I want to thank President Robert Mugabe and his government for giving youths stands. Young people did not benefit much during the land reform program and now they will get something. I hear the mayor and residents were waffling and we cannot listen to what they said, they should shut up.”

The Masvingo municipality, Harare, Bulawayo and other cities are under the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.