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Zanu PF youths plot farm invasions

BY OBEY MANAYITI/SHINGIRAYI VAMBE

The Zanu PF youth league yesterday announced plans to invade and take over farms from multiple owners for redistribution to young people in yet another move seen as targeted at senior party and government officials.

Zanu PF Youth League deputy secretary Lewis Matutu
Zanu PF Youth League deputy secretary Lewis Matutu

The move is likely to widen rifts and escalate infighting in Zanu PF after the youth league last month named and shamed party and government bigwigs they accused of being corrupt.

Officials also claimed a Cabinet minister recently received a US$1,2 million bribe from unnamed Arabs to facilitate an unspecified deal.

The minister, whose name was given to NewsDay, was not available to comment.

Last month, the youths alleged that party secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, central bank governor John Mangudya and other government and politburo
members were corrupt.

Deputy secretary for youths in the politburo, Lewis Matutu, said the youths feared no one and would gladly take the “war” to anyone who holds multiple farms.

“We are not going back. If we back down on this one, we would have let a lot of people down,” Matutu said.

“A lot of young people do not have land, yet we have many people with multiple farms. What we want to do is to make them maintain one and cede the rest. We need to share.

“However, we will do it systematically in that if there is no production at some of the farms, we will move in and take over, but if there is production, then we will ask the individual to choose one farm and surrender the other to government or to young people in such a way that will not disturb production.”

Matutu added that taking over the land from multiple holders is a government policy which they are only trying to enforce and ensure that young people get space on Zimbabwe’s resources.

He insisted that there was nothing amiss with their plan because President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on record saying that those with multiple farms must cede to others and maintain one.

Zanu PF led land invasions in the early 2000s and the majority of senior leaders parcelled the land among themselves, taking over multiple farms.

Mnangagwa recently revealed that former First Lady Grace Mugabe owned at least 16 farms.

But Matutu said multiple farm owners were not only in Zanu PF, but even in the opposition MDC and the private sector.

“We represent young people and we must do what is good for the young. We are not here to make individuals happy, but we are here to stand with the young. Those that will get angry, it’s their problem, but we definitely have to create space for the young,” Matutu said.

He said the youth league was serious about dealing with corruption, starting with senior party officials and government bigwigs.

The youth leader claimed that a senior Cabinet minister was allegedly paid US$1,2 million by some Arabs.

“We are reliably informed that the money was US$1,2 million and it is alleged that she is in partnership with some Arabs of some sort. We have all that information,” Matutu said.

He said the youths had done their homework and would not fear naming anyone who was on the wrong side of the law.

“I gave some of the individuals warnings to come clean and shun corruption, but they have resorted to ignoring it. We have given them ample time and we are going after them,” he said.

The combative Zanu PF youth leader showed NewsDay threatening messages and calls he was receiving for his stance, but vowed he would not be shaken.

“ED [Mnangagwa] should remain with people who are willing to drive the nation forward. Zanu PF is a big organisation, but only a few are corrupt and pushing us to name and shame them, like we have done with Obert Mpofu and (two others names supplied) to mention just a few and we are not hesitant to go after those farms,” he said. NewsDay

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