ZIPRA to engage govt on title deeds

The issue of ZIPRA properties’ title deeds seized by the government in the late 1980s is set to take centre stage at the ZIPRA Veterans Trust annual general meeting in September.

Retired Col Buster Magwizi.
Retired Col Buster Magwizi.

The properties were bought using contributions made by the war veterans at the assembly points in 1979. Each war veteran contributed over Z$50, which was equivalent to the British pound at that time.

In 2004, the government succumbed to pressure and returned some of the properties without title deeds. In 2009 the former Zipra combatants wrote a letter to President Mugabe requesting the title deeds – but up to now they have not been returned.

“We are going to have our annual ZIPRA Veterans meeting at Castle Arms Hotel, one of the properties for which we are battling to get title deeds from the government. We need them so that we can use the properties as security to borrow money from the banks for our income-generating projects. During the meeting we will also discuss how we can repossess the remaining properties belonging to ZAPU and ZIPRA Veterans,” said ZIPRA Veterans Trust chairman, retired Col Buster Magwizi in an interview with The Zimbabwean.

The government has so far returned three farms and the hotel. Magwizi said the former liberation movement was interested in finding a peaceful resolution to the issue.

“The issue of the welfare state of our members will be also discussed extensively at the congress. Some of our members have not been vetted and never benefitted from the gratuities which were given to former liberation fighters in 1987,” he added.

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