Chamisa wades into Zapu properties decades later

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OPPOSITION MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, whose father is believed to have been a general in the Zimbabwe army, yesterday waded into the long-drawn Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zpra) property debate, challenging the Zanu-PF administration to respect the late VicePresident Joshua Nkomo’s legacy by returning the several properties seized from his PF Zapu party at the height of the Gukurahundi era.

The issue of Zpra properties has been a subject of anger following government’s takeover of the assets which were bought by ex-combatants after the liberation war that ended in 1980.

“July is a special month as we remember Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo for the heroic contribution to the liberation struggle,” Chamisa said in a statement yesterday.

“The best way to honour Nkomo’s legacy is for government to immediately return all Zpra properties and all such properties that belonged to Nkomo.”

Nkomo, who led PF-Zapu until the signing of the Unity Acccord with Zanu-PF in November 1987, when he was appointed Vice-President, died on July 1, 1999 and was declared a national hero.

But his followers, some of whom later broke ranks with Zanu-PF to revive Zapu, are bitter that government has not honoured its pledge to return the seized properties which include farms, fuel stations and commercial buildings.

They accuse top Zanu-PF officials of sharing the properties among themselves while ex-Zpra combatants continue to wallow in abject poverty.

The properties include those owned by Nitram (Pvt) Ltd, a holding company formed by Zpra ex-freedom fighters from their demobilisation payments.

One of the properties in Bulawayo, Magnet House, now houses the spy agency Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

However, government argued that the properties were seized following alleged discovery of arms caches at some of the Zapu party farms.Source – newsday

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