Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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ZAPU prepare to ‘repossess’ properties from government

ZAPU prepares to ‘repossess’ properties from government

by Irene Madongo
22 February 2011

ZAPU is putting together a court case to claim back properties it says
belong to its organisation, but were wrongfully taken away by the ZANU PF
regime in the 1980s.

ZAPU, under Joshua Nkomo, acquired demobilisation funds to purchase
properties and create projects to sustain freedom fighters returning from
the struggle for independence in the early eighties.

The properties include Nijo Farm and the Snake Park in Harare and in
Bulawayo Magnet House (which currently houses CIO’s), Windemere farm and a
building formerly known as Lido Motel, but is now being used as Queens Park
Police station.

The properties were seized after the Gukurahundu massacres, where 20,000
civilians were killed by Mugabe’s Fifth Brigade soldiers. Mugabe’s
government accused ZAPU of storing arms on their properties and senior ZAPU
leaders were also arrested on charges of trying to overthrow Mugabe.

However, SW Radio Africa Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme says the
treason charges were found to be false.

“In the Supreme Court, Justice McNally ruled in favour of Zipra commanders,
which meant that Mugabe and his government’s case against ZAPU fell away,”
Saungweme explained, “And because those grounds were found to be false, the
continued holding of the ZAPU properties by ZANU and its functionaries is
therefore illegal.”

ZAPU’s efforts to reclaim its properties come after almost two decades of
sharing power with Mugabe’s party. It entered into a unity government with
ZANU PF in 1987, in an effort to stop the massacres. However in 2009 ZAPU
formally withdrew from the Unity Accord.


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