Zanu PF 'youths' invade Mtanda's farm

HARARE - About 100 Zanu PF supporters have reportedly invaded Caps Holdings Limited (CAPS) owner Frederick Mtanda’s Winray Farm in Mashonaland West province under the pretext that it has been “declared party property”.

While the Harare businessman was unsure about the motive of the latest disruptions, the Mutorashanga incident forms part of a series of wanton actions to take-over the farm altogether since government also tried to acquire the land in recent years.

On the other hand, Zanu PF secretary for lands Ignatius Chombo yesterday dismissed the incident, saying the party had no policy or interest to be involved in farming directly and, therefore, the Winray overrun was illegal.

“The party has no ambition of owning farms. In fact, they have always been allocated to individuals,” he said, adding there were also possibilities that the “people masquerading as Zanu PF youths and women had been deployed by the party’s detractors”.

Attempts to secure comment from party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, Rural Resettlement minister Herbert Murerwa and Mashonaland West provincial administrator one Mr Shumba were unsuccessful, as their mobile phones went unanswered.

With President Robert Mugabe’s land redistribution exercise benefitting party cronies and allies, the invaders want Mtanda out of the highly-productive 1 600 hectare farm under a nasty twist to the chaotic programme, which has seen black-on-black violence increase in recent years.

“This is not the first time they have done this (as) they have (also) resettled people on the other part of the farm using the same method. Initially, the farm was over 2 000 hectares,” the troubled businessman told the Daily News yesterday.

A controversial character and businessman, Mtanda has also been in the news for an alleged $25 million fraud at his drug manufacturing firm, although he denies the charges.

Known by his wartime nom de guerre, Chillis, the ex-freedom fighter and personal assistant to the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo has also grabbed the headlines after clashing with several Zanu PF functionaries over Zapu properties countrywide.

In what could be considered a cheeky political move or development in Zanu PF circles, he has also written the foreword to Nkomo’s popular and republished autobiography The Story of My Life, which also chronicles his travails at the hands of Mugabe’s post-independence administration.

Zanu PF ‘youths’ invade Mtanda’s farmZanu PF secretary for lands Ignatius Chombo. - Xolisani Ncube

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