Zanu war vets clash over land

War veterans have clashed publicly with the Zanu (PF) leadership over a land dispute involving Tongaat Hulett. The former freedom fighters have ordered the Masvingo party provincial chair, retired brigadier-general Callisto Gwanetsa, to keep out of the matter.

Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.
Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.

The war vets, who invaded Tongaat Hulett farms this month, have said Gwanetsa is against the party position of empowering blacks and should stop commenting on the issue.

In a statement signed by Francis Nhando, they said Gwanetsa was misguided, as they had already agreed with the company how many hectares should be given to blacks so that they could enter the lucrative sugar industry.

They said they would continue to push the company to give them more land, and said the Masvingo Provincial Lands Committee, headed by provincial affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, was fully behind them. “We have already talked with Tongaat Hulett and the company has promised to cooperate in the second phase, in which we are just repossessing our land that the company took,” said Nhando’s statement.

Gwanetsa said the invasion of farms belonging to the company would impact negatively on sugar production in the country. He said the farm invasions had not been sanctioned by the ruling party. “We have agreed as a party and as a government that there should be no more farm invasions, and that is the policy we are following,” said Gwanetsa.

It is also understood that the Masvingo Provincial Lands Committee has written a letter to central government asking that Tongaat Hulett give more than 10,000 hectares of its land to blacks.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Workers’ Union has expressed concern over low salaries being paid to workers in the industry and has vowed this year to push for a 100 per cent salary hike.

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