Zanu (PF)’s rent-a-mob flies off to SADC summit

HARARE – Zanu (PF) has sponsored the militant Upfumi Kuvadiki empowerment group to demonstrate at tomorrow’s SADC summit against putting the land issue on the agenda.\r\n

According to well-placed sources, the group’s youthful members will be loitering on the sidelines of the summit and will cause a commotion if there is any attempt to raise the issue of the SADC Tribunal’s ruling in favour of dispossessed commercial farmers.

An independent review of the Tribunal found last month that SADC law should be supreme over domestic laws, and all decisions made by the court should be binding and enforceable within all member states. The Tribunal has ruled that President Robert Mugabe’s land grab policy was unlawful and discriminatory, and Zimbabwe will be forced to abide by the ruling if the recommendations are adopted by the summit.

Upfumi Kuvadiki is one of several Zanu (PF) projects designed to prop up the sagging fortunes of the former ruling party.

Flying on the coattails of Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, the group has already covertly secured lucrative business deals and now Zanu (PF) intends to use them to further its interests on the regional stage.

A member of Upfumi Kuvadiki told The Zimbabwean that his group would be at the meeting “with the approval of the government of Zimbabwe”.

“We are going in large numbers to the summit and we would like our presence to be felt there. Our primary objective is that Zimbabwe should not made an issue at the summit and the empowerment drive, this also includes the land issue (sic),” said the source.

The group’s spokesperson, Alson Darikai, declined to comment on the matter, but insiders said that the group, which has already ruffled feathers in the country, left for Namibia on Tuesday.

Analysts say the move by Zanu (PF) to bus its supporters to the summit is an attempt by a cornered Mugabe, who historically relies on populist support, to parry the MDC’s diplomatic offensive, which resulted in the Zimbabwean crisis being put firmly on the summit’s agenda, as well as the recent finding by a research group that the Tribunal’s rulings are binding on all member states.

Zanu (PF) wing in the coalition government is eager to ensure that the land issue is not discussed at the summit therefore they have invited the militant youths,” said a source.

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Zimbabwe has in the past disregarded the Tribunal’s decisions on the land issue, and sources at the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs said on Tuesday that Harare’s disregard for the ruling would also come under the spotlight. – The Zimbabwean

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