‘Zanu PF bigwigs behind land scams’

HARARE – Top Zanu PF officials are behind the massive land scam that has seen thousands of desperate home seekers losing their hard-earned money, the MDC, and an internal report by the ruling party reveal.

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Manyenyeni

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In the past few weeks, a number of land barons have been arrested on allegations of illegally selling municipal and state land — but information gathered by the Daily News shows that people who have been arrested so far are mere pawns while the landlords remain free.

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According to Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, the real land barons are ensconced in the high echelons of power and seemingly beyond the reach of the long arm of the law.

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Speaking during a local government meeting of MDC councillors at the party headquarters in Harare on Thursday, Manyenyeni said there are big names behind the so-called land barons who are seemingly being protected.

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“Let’s test the sincerity of the current arrests that are going on. However, it is too late for people to be gullible enough to acquire land from an ordinary man on the streets.

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“Sympathy with victims must stop now. People should just do the right thing and get their land legally and from recognised offices instead of being constantly duped,” Manyenyeni said.

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Hundreds of people have lost their homes in the latest blitz on illegal structures and only a High Court ruling stopped Harare City Council from continuing with the demolitions.

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However, smaller towns like Chitungwiza, which also have their own land barons, have indicated that they are also moving in to destroy illegal houses heightening tensions in the sprawling town which has been worst affected by the illegal parcelling out of land.

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A dossier sent to the Zanu PF party leadership, namely Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and seen by the Daily News reveals in stunning detail how some party honchos are using their political muscle to grab land.

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The dossier was written early this year at the height of factionalism in Zanu PF.

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The Daily News has withheld names of those named in the saga for legal reasons.

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Part of the dossier reads, “Cde X in particular is accused of illegally creating and selling over 7 200 residential stands in Harare South which he sold to desperate home seekers at $4 500 each earning him in excess of $32,4 million. Cde Y is fingered in the Caledonia report for having illegally sold residential stands and pocketing $780 000.”

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“I have insisted in listening to party members and attending to their grievances, hence the zonal meetings. The land barons, crooks and racketeers want to continue with the culture of intimidation to enable them to carry their nefarious activities,” the author of the document claimed. But the Daily News has been told that no action was taken.

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According to MDC secretary for Local Government Eddie Cross, most of Zanu PF’s victories in Harare are in areas which have illegal settlements which came about as a result of the activities of the land barons.

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Cross said since Zanu PF uses acquisition of residential stands for political patronage, most of the people in these areas have a level of indebtedness towards Zanu PF.

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“At one point we conducted a survey and discovered that 9 000 names were registered on one address in Harare South.

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“You will also realise that people in these areas pay large sums of money for these stands. However if they vote against Zanu PF, they are evicted from their homes. They are at the mercy of politics,” Cross said. – Daily News

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