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Militant veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s independence war converged in the city last week and drew up a list of senior party and government officials they said they would evict from their farms as punishment for not backing Mujuru.
“Those targeted for eviction were only saved at the last minute after Mugabe ordered governor of Manicaland province (under which Mutare falls) Tinaye Chigudu to stop the war veterans from invading the politicians’ farms,” said a senior party member.
According to the official, who spoke on condition he was not named, Chigudu was only able to convince the war veterans to call off the farm invasions after a heated four-hour meeting with the former fighters’ and during which they accused the governor of wanting to protect people bent on destabilising Zanu (PF).
Chigudu confirmed meeting the war veterans and ordering them not to invade farms but refused to answer further questions on the matter.
He said: “In Manicaland I am the President’s representative, mandated with taking instructions from the President. In his speech to parliament, the President made it clear that no farm invasions or disruptions of farming activities would be tolerated. That remains the case and my duty is to enforce that position, regardless of the situation.”
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary for Manicaland Godfrey Chitakatira said they had shelved plans to invade farms but refused to discuss why the former fighters wanted to seize farms owned by ZANU (PF) politicians.
Among those whose farms were targeted for seizure were retired army general and now Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya, former war veterans chairman Robert Gumbo, businessman, Zanu (PF) politician Esau Mupfumi, provincial administrator Fungai Mbetsa and former party chairman Mike Madiro. – ZimOnline
MUTARE- President Robert Mugabe had to intervene last week to stop war veterans from seizing land owned by ruling Zanu (PF) party and government officials they accuse of wanting to block Vice-President Joyce Mujuru from taking over as president of Zimbabwe.