Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Tagwirei offers Zanu-PF US$75 million in return for ZPRA properties

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s controversial ally Kudakwashe Tagwirei is being accused by ex-ZPRA combatants of paying US$75 million to the ruling Zanu-PF party in exchange for ZPRA property, Nijo Produce (Private) Limited.

Three applicants, namely ZPRA Liberation War Ex Combatants, Frederick Charles Moses Mutanda (association’s coordinator), and Ben Ncube (ZPRA War Veterans Association chairman) filed an application dated 19 October 2022, at the Harare High Court seeking its intervention in the return of Nijo Produce (Private) Limited which was controversially transferred to ZANU-PF in 2020 by the late Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Perrance Shiri.

The government of Zimbabwe confiscated businesses and properties from 23,950 ZPRA liberation war ex-combatants in the early 1980s for alleged insurrection, by Proclamation 9 of 1982 published in Statutory Instrument 87A, in terms of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section (3) of the Unlawful Organization Act Chapter 91 on 16 February 1982.

They are yet to recover their properties.

Better Brands Construction (Pvt) Ltd owned by Scott Sakupwanya, Chaminuka Estates (Pvt) Ltd, Broad Haven Construction (Pvt) Ltd and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) have been cited as the first to fourth respondents, respectively.

Related Articles
1 of 742

“Therefore, Nijo a former thriving enterprise, which has been destroyed, must be returned to its rightful owners, the 23,950 ZPRA liberation war ex-combatants, and not bestowed to the ruling party, one Scot Sakupwanya or one Kudakwashe Tagwirei,” argue ex-ZPRA combatants in the court papers first published by the Centre for Innovation and Technology (Cite).

“For the first time, thirty-seven (37) years after government seized the businesses and properties from 23,950 ZPRA liberation war ex-combatants for alleged insurrection but has evaded engaging them, on 22 July 2019 President Mnangagwa met the 1st Applicant and agreed where possible to return the properties.

“However, on 26 June 2020, the late comrade Air Chief Marshal Shiri retired, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, transferred the eight (8) properties that comprised Nijo to ZANU PF. The cause of this application, following CASE No HC5329/22 before this Honourable Court.”

The applicants noted that upon being updated on the “unprecedented transfer” of the eight (8) Nijo properties to the ruling party, they immediately engaged the Minister of lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement and asserted the 23,950 ZPRA Liberation War ex-Combatants’ ownership of Nijo.

They further stated that in the early August 2022, the 23,950 ZPRA liberation war ex-combatants received an invitation from the local ruling party to reoccupy and resume farming at Nijo ahead of the 2023 elections, oblivious to Case No HC5329/22.

“The Applicants and the 3rd Respondent, a group associated with Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom comrade Colonel Katsande retired, also a liberation war veteran, reached an out-of-court agreement on the matter before this Honourable Court,” read the court papers.

The applicants stated that the Agriculture Rural Development Authority (ARDA) had not responded to the request to hand over Nijo to the 23,950 ZPRA liberation war ex-combatants.

“On 14 September 2022, Applicants were alerted that one Kudakwashe Tagwirei was at Nijo,” they said.

“2nd applicant found the said Tagwirei’s team in 4 Toyota Land cruiser SUVs at Nijo. Efforts to engage the said Kudakwashe Tagwirei, who applicants believe offered the ruling party US$75 million for 2023 elections in return for Nijo have been ignored.”

The matter is yet to be heard.