Source: Victor Matemadanda’s farm invaded | The Financial Gazette August 12, 2016
By Nelson Chenga and Nhau Mangirazi
THE bad blood between the ruling ZANU-PF party and former colleagues in the war veterans’ camp took a new twist at the weekend after the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda’s farm was invaded, the Financial Gazette can exclusively report.
Matemadanda’s Garowa Farm, located about 50km east of Karoi town, in the prime farmlands of Tengwe, was invaded on Saturday by dozens of youths believed to be linked to ZANU-PF.
Matemadanda, who is currently out on bail after being charged with undermining the authority of the President, confirmed the invasion in a telephone interview this week.
The war veterans’ leader accused Hurungwe East Member of Parliament, Sarah Mahoka, of being involved in the invasions.
“Yes, it’s true that my farm was invaded… I believe it’s people who were sent by Mahoka. We have reported the matter to the police, but they are yet to act on the issue,” said Matemadanda.
Mahoka, who is also the ZANU-PF Women’s League secretary for finance, however, distanced herself from the incident saying she was not a ZANU-PF youth.
“I am not aware about the farm invasion. Speak to those involved,” Mahoka said before terminating the call.
Mahoka, who is currently facing dissent in Hurungwe East, stormed into the spotlight in May this year when she tore into Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying his ambition to succeed President Robert Mugabe would be in vain.
This apparently irked many members of the war veterans’ camp, reportedly rooting for Mnangagwa to take over from the President when he decides to exit the political arena.
Although Matemadanda said he was yet to visit the farm, where his son, Terrence, is said to living, one farm worker who refused to be named fearing victimisation, said: “ZANU-PF youths came to the farm and said they were taking over the farm and would be sharing it among themselves. All is not well; they also indicated that they have been sent by Mahoka.”
Some party insiders claimed that Mahoka had also been involved in the invasion of former Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa’s Spring Farm situated less than 10km from Karoi, soon after he was expelled from the party.
The youths were, however, driven out through a court order.
Matemadanda’s predicament is just a glimpse of the crude nature of ZANU-PF’s patronage system.
Some of the notable persons whose farms have previously been targeted by invaders soon after they lost favour with ZANU-PF include Tracy Mutinhiri, Jocelyne Chiwenga, Ray Kaukonde, Dumiso Dabengwa, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Nicholas Goche.
A district war veteran confirmed that they have heard that Matemadanda’s farm had been invaded.
“Word has reached us, but we are still yet to verify as Matemadanda is in Harare and it is only his son who is there. We are not happy about these moves by some ZANU-PF members,” said a war veteran speaking on condition that he is not named.
Movement for Democratic Change provincial spokesperson, Blessing Mandava, said it was disheartening that ZANU-PF was targeting its perceived opponents using land as a tool to silence them.
Mandava, who was a victim of the war veterans and ZANU-PF youths harassment in Hurungwe East when he contested against Mahoka during the 2013 elections said: “We are deeply concerned that ZANU-PF is using land reform as a tool to silence its opponents.
“As a party (MDC-T), we understand the role played by the war veterans and it is a fact that land reform will never be reversed come what may, but it must not be a preserve of one political party. We condemn the action against Matemadanda both as a war veteran and a Zimbabwean.”