ZANU PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Calistus Ndlovu yesterday distanced the party from war veterans that invaded Mazwi Game Reserve on the outskirts of the city.
Ndlovu told Southern Eye that contrary to the invaders’ claims that their occupation of the Bulawayo City Council-owned game reserve had the blessings of the Zanu PF provincial leadership, the party was against the occupation.
He said Zanu PF did not have any resettlement programme at the moment and those who occupied the game reserve should not drag the party’s name into their illegal invasions.
“As a party we don’t have any resettlement programme at the moment and those people occupying the land (Mazwi Game Reserve) are there on their own,” he said.
“As a party, we don’t support that because currently we don’t have that programme.”
When Southern Eye visited the nature reserve yesterday morning, invaders were busy clearing the land cutting down trees as they prepared to parcel out plots. Most of the invaders said they were from Cowdray Park and one of them, Mthulisi Ndlovu, said there was no turning back on the invasion. He said they would be putting up structures as soon as they finish clearing the land.
“We are here to stay; we are not going back and people must understand that we have started clearing this land and we are looking forward to partitioning it,” Ndlovu said.
Another invader Mlungisi Sibanda said they had started identifying possible sites so that each of them gets land for farming.
“We are now identifying sites. As you can see, some of us here have started clearing the land as possible building sites have been identified,” he said.
“Some are prepared to go deeper into the reserve.”
Mayor Martin Moyo said the local authority’s legal team led by the chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou was out of town attending a workshop in Beitbridge. He said on their return they would be filing an application in the High Court seeking the eviction of the invaders.
“The moment they return, we will take legal action to redress the situation,” Moyo said.
The invaders have been at the nature reserve for the past seven days and have vowed not to leave arguing that the land was not being fully utilised.