Tuesday, February 13, 2018

War vets compiles list of members dispossessed of farms

THE  Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) is compiling a list of war veterans who were dispossessed of farms by members by the G40 cabal during the reign of former President Robert Mugabe. 

ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya yesterday said some war veterans around the country lost their farms after the then Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora, who was part of the G40 cabal, issued offer letter to other people to occupy their farms.

In an interview yesterday, Mahiya said they wanted order to be restored so that farmers could have their pieces of land returned. He said provincial leaders will compile the lists of the affected war veterans and engage the Government to address the issue.

"The G40 cabal was against war veterans due to selfish reasons. Our members were subjected to abuse and unfair treatment.

"A substantial number of war veterans lost their farms in 2015 because the then Lands Minister Douglas Mombeshora was issuing offer letters to people to come and occupy pieces of land that we got during the land reform programme in 2000.

"I am one of the war veterans who were affected after people came to my farm in Mashonaland East with an offer letter from Mombeshora. I refused to vacate the farm and occupied a small portion. Those people are still at my farm and I have no power to evict them," said Mahiya.

He said it was important for the Government to address the issue because war veterans deserved to be treated with respect.

"Farms have become bankable assets, but some of us will die poor because of selfish individuals who were using their political muscle to oppress us. When we went to war, the main purpose was to fight for land, but it's unfortunate that the G40 people viewed us as useless people, yet we're an important group of people in society.

"We want to do away with the dependency syndrome. It's therefore important for us to fully own our farms and work for our families and the nation," said Mahiya.

Last month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Operation Restore Legacy, which ushered in a new political dispensation, was in line with the constitutional mandate of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).

He said the political developments that saw him coming to power following the resignation of the former President came after the G40 cabal had created a constitutional crisis in the country, taking advantage of their proximity to the then First Family via the former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

He said the situation had deteriorated to the extent that the G40 cabal, fronted mainly by former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Mrs Mugabe, Saviour Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo, Kudzanai Chipanga and Patrick Zhuwao, was usurping constitutionally guarded Executive, Legislative and Judicial roles.