Zanu PF dragged to court over stands
By Fungi Kwaramba
A residents lobby group has challenged Zanu PF land parcelling to thousands of its youths, by filing a lawsuit at the High Court where it is seeking to have it declared illegal and discriminatory.
Zanu PF is parcelling out thousands of hectares in undeveloped land to its youths in a move which rights and pro-democracy groups say is a vote-buying and bribing gimmick ahead of the watershed 2018 national elections.
In his High Court application where he cites Local Government minister and Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere as the first respondent, Denford Ngadziore, a member of Residents Forum, says the Zanu PF practice of dishing out stands to its supporters is not only “unconstitutional” but also “discriminatory”.
“Sometime in April this year at a Zanu PF rally in Mbare, the 1st respondent Kasukuwere offered 1 500 hectors of land to Zanu PF youths.
“The land was specifically offered to Zanu PF youths through their leadership.
“Most of the members of the applicant are not affiliated to Zanu PF.
“Therefore in respect to these members, the 1st respondent is acting unconstitutionally and in a discriminatory manner,” said Ngadziore in his court challenge.
In the run-up to last week’s Norton by-election in which its candidate Ronald Chindedza was soundly beaten, Zanu PF doled out
5 000 stands to its supporters to trigger serious condemnation from the winning independent candidate —Temba Mliswa and local election observer groups.
“It is not the duty of the 1st respondent to parcel out residential stands to people. That duty rests with the local authorities in line with constitutional provisions of devolution of power.
“The 1st respondent’s actions are therefore ultra vires the Constitution and therefore null and void,” said Ngadziore.
He had earlier written to Kasukuwere’s ministry expressing his displeasure at the way residential stands were being distributed.
Ngadziore argues that Zanu PF youths were promised stands almost on a gratis by the government, and the land is not being administered by the local authorities as should be the case.
Zanu PF has in previous elections been accused of using State resources, land and relief food to woo voters.
Land beneficiaries, in the aftermath of the elections, have had their homes built on the same land, destroyed by the authorities for not meeting requirements of existing laws.
Most local authorities including the Harare City Council have tried but without success to bring down illegal settlements which government critics say have been erected with the backing of Zanu PF. Daily News