MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa has called on the government to return all properties seized from ZAPU in the 1980s.
The properties were taken over by then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe’s regime at the height of the governing ZANU’s hostilities with the once main opposition in the early 1980s.
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The properties include farms dotted across the country, buildings in Bulawayo and factories.
Posting on Twitter on Monday, Chamisa said since July is a special month to remember the late Vice President, Joshua Nkomo, who was ZAPU president before the party was swallowed up by ZANU, the best way to honour him was to restore ZAPU properties to the rightful owners. Said Chamisa:
July is a special month as we remember Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo for his heroic contribution to the liberation struggle.
The best way to honour Dr Nkomo’s legacy is for the government to immediately return all ZPRA properties and all such properties that belonged to Dr Nkomo.
Responding to Chamisa, journalist Zenzele Ndebele pointed out that one of the ZAPU properties is a house in Gunhill, Harare, that is currently being used by Douglas Mahiya the ZANU PF Secretary for War Veterans.
In 2020, the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association (ZLWVA)’s Ignatius Mutsinze said the seizure of the properties was used by ZANU PF to divide liberation war fighters.
Mutsinze said the properties should have been handed back to the owners as early as 1987 when Mugabe and Nkomo signed the Unity Accord. He was quoted by NewZimbabwe.com as saying:
These properties were taken way back in the early 80s but we were anticipating that by 1987 when there was the unity agreement, these properties would be given back to their rightful owners.
Those properties are still with our government, whether they have sold them or not, we do not know but we want an answer to that.
As war veterans, we believe that issue was used as a divide and rule tactic by the ruling party.
We want this to be addressed. Nitram Properties should be given back to its rightful owners.