Zanu PF dumps land invaders

A NUMBER of Zanu PF activists have in the last couple of days been evicted from farms they had invaded, raising fears that the party could have used them for campaign purposes and then dumped them.

Report by Chief Reporter

Last Friday, close to 300 Zanu PF supporters were left homeless after their structures were demolished by the police at Hungoidza Farm, while several others who resisted eviction were arrested.

The land invaders accused the new farm owners of being fronts for white people and underutilising their pieces of land, prompting the invasions.

Another group was thrown out of a Gokwe farm by armed police, with at least 24 people being charged with trespassing.

Both groups have accused Zanu PF of using them to gain support during the election period and dumping them now that the party had got what it wanted.

But the Zanu PF Masvingo provincial leadership has said the evictions were part of a land audit programme.

Provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke told Southern Eye yesterday that there was nothing sinister with the evictions as
the party was conducting a land audit.

“Some of those people had occupied the farm since 2000,” he said. “They are registered Zanu PF members.

“But the party is now conducting a land resettlement audit to find out who deserves to be there and who does not.

“So as the leadership, it is not a witch-hunt on those that did not vote for us. It’s simple a land audit.”

Matuke said a lands committee had been set up to spearhead the programme.

But political commentator, Dumisani Nkomo said it was not surprising that people were being evicted from farms soon after elections, saying the affected should have long learnt Zanu PF’s modus operandi.

“It is really not surprising that people are being evicted,” he said.

“It was the same scenario after the 2008 elections. They should have known how Zanu PF uses people before it later discards them.”

However, he said invaders should not cry foul when the law is being implemented.

“Lawlessness should not be tolerated. One cannot commit an illegal act and hope to get protection form a political party,” he said.

Masvingo provincial administrator Felix Chikovo, also the provincial lands committee chairman, recently told the Southern Eye the government will conduct a land audit to determine whether beneficiaries of the land reform were utilising farms.

Chikovo said the farms will also be divided to accommodate about 5 000 people, on the land waiting list, amid concerns the province had run out of land for resettlement.

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