BULAWAYO Zanu PF provincial chairman Callistus Ndlovu has distanced the party’s provincial leadership from the recent land invasions and urged the police to arrest invaders for breaking the law.
Ndlovu said his executive backed the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo’s son Sibangilzwe’s stance lashing out at people behind the renewed invasions of privately-owned buildings and farms in Matabeleland.
Sibangilizwe last Monday said he was disgusted by the grabbing spree and warned that the invasions threatened reconciliation and economic revival.
Ndlovu said he did not support the invasions and dissociated Zanu PF from what he called criminal activities.
“The government is not resettling people. In fact, it’s carrying out land audits on individuals who benefited from the programme,” he told Southern Eye.
“We disassociate ourselves from those individuals who are acting outside the law.
“We don’t support the invasions. In fact, we support Sibangilizwe’s stance on these invasions.
“We can’t allow individuals to break the law. We have said this before that we will not support these people.”
A group of Zanu PF supporters led by Tariro Magovanyika invaded the Bulawayo City Council-owned Mazwi Nature Reserve claiming to have been given the go ahead by the party’s provincial leadership and parcelled out portions of land to land seekers.
However, Ndlovu said there was no way the Bulawayo provincial leadership could sanction such illegal and retrogressive moves.
“The police must arrest these people for breaking the law. These are criminal elements abusing the name of the party,” he said.
Sibangilizwe said the latest invasions appeared to be politically motivated and posed negative effects to the economic and social lives of ordinary citizens.
Last week, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema ordered people who illegally resettled themselves on farms in Matabeleland North to immediately vacate or face eviction.
He expressed concern over people who were invading farms in the province on the pretext that they were from Zanu PF saying the party was disciplined and could not be associated with such people.
Transport minister Obert Mpofu recently called on the police to arrest all land invaders whom he called criminals. Mpofu said the time for land invasions was over and those allocated land should now start farming intensively.
President Robert Mugabe’s deputy chief secretary Ray Ndhlukula is the latest prominent invader after grabbing Centenary Farm in Figtree from white farmer David Connolly.
Ndhlukula forced Connolly out despite a High Court order barring him from interfering with operations at one of the most productive farms in Matabeleland South.
He has reportedly threatened to take over a neighbouring farm belonging to David’s brother, Michael, to punish the farmer for challenging him in court.
Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa’s Ruby Farm in Nyamandlovu was recently occupied by people in Zanu PF regalia who claimed that it was being underutilised.
They later vacated the property. Police recently evicted invaders that had occupied some farms in Norwood.