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Zanu PF invaders fleecing people

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ZANU PF activists overseeing the invasion of the Bulawayo City Council-owned Mazwi Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Old Pumula are reportedly making a killing by charging desperate land-seekers $5 as “administration fees” and demanding groceries.

NQOBANI NDLOVU
STAFF REPORTER

According to Mark Makotami, the chief security officer for the Zanu PF invaders, about 3 800 people had been “resettled” at the council property by Wednesday and more were still in line to be given land.

This means those in charge of the nature reserve’s invasion have collected over $19 000 since they started illegally parcelling out land at Mazwi.

Hundreds of other land-seekers on the “waiting list” have also allegedly been made to pay the $5 fees, further bumping up the figure.

The groceries are reportedly used to feed the Zanu PF officials in charge of the occupation, land-seekers told Southern Eye yesterday.

“We are told the $5 is facilitation charges to ensure that the people in charge of operations traverse the property pegging pieces of land for us.

I am on the waiting list and have not been allocated a piece of land,” said one land-seeker, who declined to be named fearing to miss out.

Zanu PF supporters have vowed to stay put despite council approaching the High Court seeking an eviction order. Last Friday, the High Court ordered other Zanu PF supporters to vacate Hyde Park Estates ruling that their occupation of the council property was illegal.

However, Tariro Magovanyika (32), the Zanu PF activist in charge of the Mazwi invasion, dismissed as untrue reports that they were forcing land seekers to bring groceries and pay a $5 administration fee.

“There is nothing like that. That is not true at all. There is no need for us to force people to pay for free land,” he said.

“Those that say they have paid the monies should produce receipts in the spirit of accountability and transparency.

“People are bringing their own food here and we also bring ours. We don’t ask for their food.”
Magovanyika also took a swipe at the Zanu PF provincial leadership for saying they should vacate the place.

“Zanu PF is a mass people’s party and does not belong to the provincial leadership. They misfired by saying we should vacate this property,” he said.

“The provincial leadership is aloof and will not side with the common people like us.

“For example, Callistus Ndlovu (Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairman) has a farm and will therefore not side with the ordinary people who have no land.”

Magovanyika also claimed that his group was responsible for evicting invaders from Ruby Farm in Nyamandlovu that belongs to Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa “because we respect him”.

“We are the ones that sent our youths to go and evict those people. Dabengwa is a hero that fought in the liberation war so that we get land,” he said.

“He deserves the land and if he has two or three farms, that should not bother anyone because he fought for this land.

“However, I feel sorry for those farmers that are not utilising land.

“We will take that land and parcel it to our members.”

There had been reports that the same people in charge of the Mazwi invasion spearheaded the occupation of Dabengwa’s farm, but Magovanyika denied the claims saying a former soldier, Ngqabutho Nkomo, had led invaders into Ruby Farm.

Magovanyika’s deputy Makotami also lashed out at Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda accusing him of being anti-people for saying council would seek the eviction of Mazwi invaders.

“He does not have the qualities of a leader. He does not have the interests of the people at heart and should go back to sports,” he said.

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