PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party might have inadvertently admitted it sold Norton residents a dummy by illegally doling out private land to prospective voters in Norton ahead of a by-election they subsequently lost to independent candidate Temba Mliswa.
Source: Bleak future for Zanu PF Norton land beneficiaries – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 31, 2016
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Mliswa left Zanu PF reeling after romping to victory last week despite the ruling party’s use of residential stands to drum up support for Zanu PF’s candidate, Ronald Chindedza.
A private land developer, Maparahwe Properties, has since obtained an interim High Court relief to have the ruling party and its supporters evicted from the contested land.
The provisional relief order was granted by Justice Hlekani Mwayera after Maparahwe Properties approached the High Court suing Local Government minister and Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, for illegal allocation of its land to the ruling party’s supporters.
Court papers show that the Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s Office, who represented the ministry, did not oppose Maparahwe’s application.
“Take notice that the first respondent (Local Government Public Works and National Housing minister) is not opposed to the interim relief being sought by the applicants (Maparahwe Properties). Further take notice that the first respondent (Kasukuwere) is, however, opposed to award of costs,” the notice said.
The other respondent in the matter is the Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp), that is currently embroiled in several murky land deals across Harare and other peri-urban settlements.
In the interim order, Kasukuwere was ordered to move off the private property.
“Respondents are, hereby, ordered to remove from Kingsdale of Johannesburg all their equipment forthwith failing, which the sherriff of Zimbabwe is authorised to remove the same.
“Respondents be and are interdicted from allocating and selling stands on certain piece of land situated in the District of Hartley called Kingsdale of Johannesburg measuring 161,8238 hectares to anyone,” Mwayera said.
In the run-up to the Norton by-election, top Zanu PF leaders, including Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, fell over each other to campaign for Chindedza, who has since been described by Mugabe as a common criminal.
Residential stands were doled out to party members, while earthmoving equipment quickly moved in ostensibly to confirm government’s commitment to addressing the housing crisis.
However, if the High Court confirms the judgment, the whole programme could turn into a charade and construed as a vote-buying gimmick as has been charged by the opposition.