Sunday, June 24, 2018

No compensation for land : Dzapasi. . . We will pay breastfeeding women

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Norman Muchemwa
One of the four female presidential candidates for this year’s polls, Ms Melbah Dzapasi, has promised that her administration will not compensate white former commercial farmers who lost land during the country’s land reform exercise, as it is unconscionable to honour obligations for a resource that rightfully belongs to indigenes.
The 44-year-old entrepreneur, who professes to be a disciple of nationalistic values, told The Sunday Mail in an interview last week that her party, #1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe, believes that there can never be a price tag to the gains of the liberation struggle.
The presidential hopeful, who was also accompanied by co-founder of the political project, Mr Francis Danha, indicated that there is need to continue the nationalistic agenda of the founding fathers through pursuing “total black empowerment”.
“The national gains of our independence and our liberation struggle cannot be reversed and cannot be sold. We should guard jealously even the small gains on the ground for the benefit of future generations, and even Jesus Christ confirms that we are the inheritors of our land. We will never compensate for our land, never!” said Ms Dzapasi.
“The issue of land compensation is totally wrong, the land was forcibly taken away from us, so black people are entitled to have their land without any compensation. The British refused to compensate land as per the Lancaster House Agreement, so they should not expect to be compensated by our own resources.
“Even the issue of 99-year leases is totally wrong. Land is for Zimbabweans, no strings attached. We have natural resources in Zimbabwe and those resources must benefit the black people of Zimbabwe,” she said.
The #1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe, said Ms Dzapasi, intends to complete the unfinished nationalistic agenda of the liberation struggle.
The fledgling political party says its core values are enshrined in the First and Second Chimurenga.
“Since inception of independence, a black man came into office, but the reasons for the liberation struggle were totally undermined. The people still have to seek restoration of Chimurenga values. Some of our leaders today show tendencies of colluding with colonial powers.
“As the revolution is a continuous process, the #1980 Freedom Movement warriors, comrades and veterans of the revolution, seek that goal and path for Zimbabwe to reassert their rights and regain ownership and control of their land and resources.
“The movement shall resist every form of reversal of the revolution, including the tendency to compensate former colonial beneficiaries of land and resources and even asking our citizens to pay for colonial injustices,” she said.
Ms Dzapasi, who is confident of landing the country’s top job during the July 30 elections, said her administration will also represent the interests of indigenous people by ensuring that they control every sector of the economy.
“Every economic sector, including the retail and manufacturing sectors, should be for black people. We don’t have to go and hire the Chinese to construct roads for us. Blacks have to be empowered to handle such projects,” she said.
In addition to vetting and compensating war veterans, the political party also intends to formalise the informal sector.
The #1980 Freedom Movement says as part of an elaborate plan to empower women, it will offer financial support to breastfeeding women.
“Our Government is ready to take care of all women who are breastfeeding.
“We will pay them as long as they are still breastfeeding as a sign to remove the burden most women are facing,” she said.
Ms Dzapasi’s political party was formed last year to ostensibly evoke the spirit of the First and Second Chimurenga.
The co-founders Ms Dzapasi and Mr Danda equate themselves to Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi, respectively.
The party has fielded only 20 parliamentary candidates, but they hope to build their administration around independent candidates.