BY PROBLEM MASAU
INFORMATION and Publicity deputy minister Kindness Paradza has threatened to seize resettled farmers’ land if they continue to shun Zanu PF programmes, leaked WhatsApp messages have revealed.
An infuriated Paradza, who is also Zanu PF Makonde district chairperson, accused Mhangura resettled farmers of associating with the opposition while snubbing Zanu PF meetings.
In the leaked WhatsApp chats the Information and Publicity deputy minister also said beneficiaries of the controversial land reform programme were mainly Zanu PF members.
“Thank you to all the patriotic farmers that came to our meeting where we had a robust exchange of ideas. However, the majority chose to stay away for various reasons. Let me be clear that time has come for all of us to take stock of ourselves and review our position as the ruling party. It is either you are with us or against us,” Paradza said.
“Be warned that the offer letter you are holding and which gives you authority to be on that farm, can be revoked anytime and without recourse. From now on each farmer must take an active role in party affairs including encouraging their employees to do the same.”
Paradza then confirmed that the national land redistribution programme was done along partisan lines with only Zanu PF supporters benefiting.
“A lot of farmers think it was because of their cleverness that they secured the farms they have. Those who think that way are misguided. You got that farm because the ruling Zanu PF party allocated it to you. Some of you are anti-establishment yet you benefited from the land reform. This country is under sanctions because of you who are on the land, lest we forget that,” he said.
He went on to say that Zanu PF will introduce an attendance register to monitor farmers’ activities.
“Starting this coming Saturday, June 11, on national cell day, each farmer must attend meetings organised by their cell chairpersons and have their names recorded in our cell registers. Those whose names will not be in our cell registers will surely have themselves to blame. This time the party will be ruthless to those land beneficiaries who wine and dine with the opposition,” Parardza said.
When NewsDay contacted him to comment on the issue, Paradza acknowledged the authenticity of the WhatsApp messages.
“Yes, it is me who sent those messages. It is not news. I was just addressing farmers,” Paradza said.