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ZPRA veterans pile pressure on govt

ZPRA Nitram properties committee patron Tshinga Dube told the ex-combatants last week that moves to have the properties returned have gathered pace.

ZPRA veterans have submitted a list of their properties that were seized in the 80’s by the government to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to push for their return.

Mnangagwa promised to ensure the properties are returned after meeting the ex-combatants at State House in Bulawayo in 2019.

He later assigned Vice President Kembo Mohadi to lead the process.

The Zanu PF government then led by late former president Robert Mugabe confiscated PF Zapu and Zipra properties at the height of the Gukurahundi killings in Matabeleland and Midlands.

This followed the alleged discovery of arms at some of the properties.

Mugabe’s government claimed the arms were used for insurgency purposes by the dissidents with the aim of overthrowing it.

ZPRA Nitram properties committee patron Tshinga Dube told the ex-combatants last week that moves to have the properties returned have gathered pace.

“I have been in Harare recently and had to check with Mohadi, who confirmed to me that the property list  had been handed over to Mnangagwa,” Dube said.

“I am sure that the properties will be handed over soon.”

He said this during a war veteran’s engagement meeting with ministers held at Entumbane last week

Ex-Zipra deputy chief of logistics Retired Colonel Thomas Ngwenya said some of the properties were grabbed by Zanu PF officials.

“Those properties would hardly be given to their rightful owners because those who are holding on to them are Zanu PF people," Ngwenya said.

"We should be seeing government officials coming to address Ex Zipra war veterans about their properties not Zanu PF people because the properties were seized by the government, not Zanu PF members."

He advised the committee not to lose hope.

“There is a ministry responsible for that, they can discuss war veterans' issues at party level,” Ngwenya said.

“It does not matter but the government is the one that is supposed to deal with these issues.”

Zpra veterans bought several properties across the country with contributions from their demobilisation pay-outs. 

Zpra was the military wing of Zapu during the armed struggle.

Zapu and Zpra have been demanding the release of their properties such as farms and buildings that are listed as Caveats in the title deeds for years but without success.

According to a Zapu inventory, seized party properties include farms and hotels, among them Castle Arms in Bulawayo, Green Haven — a huge entertainment facility along Victoria Falls road — and several residential properties.


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