War Vets Invade Farm Belonging To Tsvangirai's Senior Official

Rusape, – A group of Zanu (PF) activists numbering about 200 on Thursday invaded a farm belonging to Norman Sachikonye, the principal director in the Prime Minister’s Office and an aspiring MDC-T parliamentary candidate for Makoni central.

The land invaders who were singing and dancing to Zanu (PF) and liberation war songs and clad in Zanu (PF) regalia, descended onto the aspiring legislator’s Zimati Kop farm and started pegging and haphazardly allocating stands among themselves.

The invaders were allegedly being led and encouraged by an official identified as Rusape Town Council acting secretary Darlington Museka.

Sources who witnessed the invasion said police officers who were present did not say or do anything to stop the invasion.

Sachikonye, last week, publicly declared his interest to represent Makoni Central on an MDC-T ticket.

Radio VOP spoke to Sachikonye who said the land, which is 1km from Rusape Town Centre, was actually meant for the development of a residential area.

“The invaders are back today (Thursday 23 August, 2012) on the land and they are continuing from where they left. After I reported the matter to the police yesterday they wanted me to give them more information on how we acquired the land. We actually have a certificate of no present interest from the Ministry of Lands which we got in 2010,” said Sachikonye.

He said they were in the process of selling housing stands to individuals as the 1 115 hectares piece of land is to be developed into a residential area.

“The police told me that they want a complete file of the circumstances on how we acquired the land and that is what we are going to do now. I have title deeds to the land and I am sure the documentation is going to be helpful,” added Sachikonye.

He said a meeting between the police and the leaders of the invaders has been set for today.

Farm invasions have continued in Zimbabwe more than ten years after the government launched the chaotic land reform programme. In recent weeks, there has been a renewed spat of farm invasions in the countryside as political activists, disguised as war veterans, take advantage of the increased talk of elections to seize farms.