via Mahofa ideologically bankrupt, Mzembi – New Zimbabwe 08/04/2015
HE was described by President Robert Mugabe as his best minister and it is probably that supposed industry and ingenuity which helped tourism minister Walter Mzembi survive the recent purges in both government and the ruling party.
Mzembi was said to belong to the Zanu PF faction loyal to former vice president Joice Mujuru who has since been kicked out of the ruling party and government for allegedly plotting a coup against Mugabe.
Suspected allies of the former ‘president-in-waiting’ were also booted out of Cabinet and the ruling party but Mzembi survived.
However, the instigators and winners of the brutal purges have not forgotten him.
Soon after she was rewarded with the Masvingo provincial ministerial job for her part in facilitating Mujuru’s ouster, Shuvai Mahofa immediately declared that Mzembi would not get the farm he was allocated by government in the province.
Mahofa claimed that Barquest Farm, owned by Hellen Mitchell, was strategic to the province’s economy, adding that Mzembi was not land deprived as he owned several other farms anyway.
But an angry Mzembi has hit back, describing Mahofa as “ideologically bankrupt”.
“It is, in the circumstances, inconceivable and ideologically bankrupt for a senior Government official, who should know better, to defend both iniquities, let alone when such iniquities are by old colonial settler farmers,” he said.
“The ongoing narrative about some farms being too strategic to take over is a misplacement of priorities.
“All land is strategic and should never be used as a tool for political revenge, vengeance or retribution by blacks against their own kind, as seems to be the case here.”
Mzembi denied owning any other farms, saying Mahofa could easily check this from records which are available in her office.
“This is a shameful way for senior members of one Government to conduct their affairs in the public domain,” he charged.
“It is unfortunate that the new minister is so excited about her new deployment to the extent of disregarding Government communication methods, and is prepared to cast aside sacrosanct values like returning land to its indigenous owners, so that she can exercise spite against her perceived political adversaries.”
Still Mahofa said Mzembi could rant and rave all he likes, insisting he would not get the farm.
“We have already written a letter to the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement (Dr Douglas Mombeshora) informing him of our decision to have Minister Mzembi’s offer letter at Barquest Farm withdrawn and nothing is going to change on that,’’ she said.
“Our decision as the provincial land committee cannot be challenged because it is us the people of Masvingo who decide what should happen with our land.
“The Minister of Lands cannot turn down what we would have recommended because he does not live here.
“The issue of Barquest Farm is a closed chapter and we have already assured the owner of the farm, Mrs Mitchell, that she is safe because the hatchery project there is very important to us.”
The lands minister said he would deal with the issue away from the glare of the media.
Commenting on the dispute, Mombeshora said: “We will resolve the matter away from the media. We do not handle it in the media.”