Discontented ZIPRA war veterans have warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government that they will retake their properties seized during the Gukurahundi atrocities.
Mnangagwa is said to have promised to return the seized properties when he met ZIPRA war veterans shortly before the November 2017 military coup.
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In a letter dated 20 July 2020, Nitram (Pvt) Ltd wrote to Mnangagwa reminding him of his promise to return their properties. The letter read in part:
In 48 hours, it will be exactly one year since the meeting, which inspired hope in former ZIPRA combatants that the new dispensation was going to return our properties.
Forty-eight hours is also the time it takes for a President Proclamation to remove caveats.
Our greatest concern since our historic meeting with you Your Excellency is that there have been negative developments in some of our properties namely, Nijo Farm and Snake Park in Harare.
Speaking to The Standard, John Gazi, chairperson of Nitram Properties, the company set up by ex-ZIPRA combatants, said the war veterans had lost patience with the government. Said Gazi:
Disgruntled ZIPRA war veterans are very angry and this time they are forced to act to take back what belongs to them.
NSSA is corrupt, stealing and distributing our properties to some people through forged documents on how they acquired our land.
Gazi said the ZIPRA veterans were ready to face any action by the government when they move to retake their properties.
A ZIPRA war veteran, who requested anonymity, said one of the properties they will be retaking was a piece of land in Harare’s Glaudina area. He said:
Last month, NSSA stopped us during the process and one of our members had laid the foundation of his cottage, but this time around, we are not going to listen to anyone.
A NSSA spokesperson told The Standard that there was no need to invade the property as Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima recommended the parcelling out of 50% of the land under dispute to the war veterans.