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ED promises to return seized Zipra properties

©  President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to return Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra)’s properties seized by government in the 80s. Mnangagwa made the landmark decision to return the seized properties when he met with the Zipra veterans leadership at State House last month. 


Properties belonging to Zapu and its military wing Zipra were confiscated by Zanu PF at the advent of the 1980’s Gukurahundi massacres under the Unlawful Organisation Act in 1982 (Caveat No. 15 of 82) and transferred to the president of Zimbabwe in January 1987 (under Caveat No. 56 of 87).

According to the Zipra cadres, the meeting that resolved to return the properties was held at the State House on July 23, with Zipra represented by a strong seven-member delegation. Mnangagwa was reportedly flanked by his deputy Kembo Mohadi during the meeting that resolved to pave way for new relations between former freedom fighters and the Zanu PF government.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was not taking calls when the Daily News reached him for comment yesterday. 
From the documents presented to Mnangagwa gleaned by this paper, Zipra is claiming 12 holding companies under which there are dozens of companies and farms.

For example Nitram holding company alone had about 52 companies under it.  From the latest developments, Zipra cadres expressed hope their grievances have been heard and addressed during their report back meeting to the executive in Bulawayo on Tuesday.

“We met the president on three issues, firstly we wanted the return of seized properties, financial restitution in terms of the period the properties have not been in our possession and the issue of vetting where we said there are more than 20 000 of our Zipra cadres who were not vetted.

“As per the lifting of caveat because the properties were only returned by word of mouth in 2004 by former president Robert Mugabe himself who sent Joseph Msika who was the vice president then. However the paper work was never done. 

“So it has taken 15 years before we could get a resolution of this magnitude where the president has committed himself to finally giving us the whole package which entails lifting of the whole caveat,” John Gazi told the Daily News after the meeting. 

Gazi, however, said while the president had committed himself to addressing their grievances, he didn’t give a time frame.
“The time-frame was not given simply because there were a few technicalities that were given, so we had to prepare a comprehensive paper that I had to present to his office in Munhumutapa in Harare.”

Gazi further noted that of their three demands, Mnangagwa shot down the restitution demand arguing it was not practical.
Some of the properties include Magnet House which houses the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) offices, Kudu Motors, Hampton Farm, Ascot Farm, Nest-egg farm, Woodyglen Farm, Mbalabala Garage, Nyamandlovu Farm, Snake Park and Salisbury Motel in Harare among others.

Early this year, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi triggered a storm when he claimed that the Zapu/Zipra properties now belonged to government since the signing of the Unity Accord in December 1987 which ended hostilities between PF Zapu and Zanu PF.

But Zapu and Zipra maintain that the properties were grabbed as part of a wider campaign to weaken the then vibrant opposition party, which was led by the revered late Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo.

Then, Zapu was accused of fomenting violence and leading an insurrection in Matabeleland and Midlands, soon after the country’s independence from Britain in 1980.