Nduduzo Tshuma Senior Political Reporter
ZANU-PF politburo member Dr Obert Mpofu yesterday said people who have been invading land using the name of the ruling party are criminals as the party did not sanction their lawless activities.Dr Mpofu was responding to a participant’s question during the Chronicle breakfast meeting held at the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel yesterday on what the government was doing to stop the land invasions.
“I spoke about the matter recently. It is not allowed,” said Dr Mpofu.
“Where were you when land was being distributed? It is saddening that some people want to use the name of the party to commit crime. Those are criminals.”
Dr Mpofu said it was curious that the invaders were raiding farms clad in new Zanu-PF regalia yet the party did not distribute any recently.
“I’m a senior person in Zanu-PF and we didn’t give out any regalia so where did you get the regalia from? We last gave out regalia before the elections,” he said.
Dr Mpofu said the party was a law abiding organisation and did not condone what the land invaders were doing. He joins a number of senior Zanu-PF members who have condemned land invasions.
Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo is on record saying land invaders were not members of the ruling party.
On Monday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister, Cde Cain Mathema ordered those who had occupied land illegally to immediately vacate the properties, failure of which they would be arrested.
He said the only designated person to distribute land was the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Cde Douglas Mombeshora.
Cde Mathema warned people against abusing Zanu-PF’s name when invading properties.
He also warned politicians against promising or distributing land to people with the hope of winning future votes.
Cde Mathema said everyone occupying land without offer letters from government should immediately vacate the properties. Invaders who forcibly entered the Bulawayo City Council owned Mazwi Sanctuary started moving out of the property on Tuesday following Cde Mathema’s order.
The group, claiming to be Zanu-PF youths, in July invaded the sanctuary in a matter that has since spilled into the courts. The same group clashed with resettled farmers at Red Bank Farm in August after they moved their members onto the property claiming that the farm was being under-utilised.
Zapu president Dr Dumiso Dabengwa’s farm in Umguza was also raided by illegal occupants who were later moved out of the property by police.