MDC-T youths wade into Anglican land saga

By Obey Manayiti

THE opposition MDC-T has vowed to demolish structures constructed by Zanu PF youths on private land in Chitungwiza that has been illegally grabbed from the Anglican Church.

Members of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe
Members of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe

Scores of Zanu PF youths on Wednesday defied a High Court order and besieged a piece of land belonging to the Anglican Church in St Mary’s.

Just over a week ago, the High Court had granted the Anglican Church an order to remove the youths from its land. But the defiant youths went ahead to parcel the land among themselves and are now clearing it in preparation for construction.

The MDC-T’s Chitungwiza provincial secretary Lloyd Damba said the party summoned all the councillors in Chitungwiza where a resolution was made that all illegal structures constructed by Zanu PF members or anybody else should be pulled down.

“We summoned all the 32 councillors in Chitungwiza province but in Chitungwiza Town there are only 14. The discussions were centred on the land invasions happening especially in St Mary’s and other parts of the province,” said Damba.

“We know that the objective of these invasions is to try and dilute MDC-T support in these areas. We had a binding resolution that those houses built on such land should be demolished.”

He added: “We know they may have blessings from the highest offices on the land because to Zanu PF it is not a matter of service delivery but it is about retention of power.”

However, Zanu PF central committee member Innocent Hamandishe, who is alleged to be the brains behind the land seizures by the youths, distanced himself from the rowdy group that has grabbed the church land. He said the ruling party respected the rule of law and would never promote lawlessness.

“I was not present but I just heard that some youths went to that land. I think that should be investigated because we don’t support lawlessness,” said Hamandishe.

“At first the youths were saying the land issue is not about the church but how it was acquired. The title deeds are dated 1904 under the colonial regime. That is the issue with the youths and the Anglican Church had agreed to cede some of the land but now it is backtracking.”

He also dismissed threats by the MDC-T that once in power they would have them demolished saying the opposition would never assume power. The Standard