via Zanu PF youths extort Hre residents – New Zimbabwe 05/07/2015
ZANU PF youths in Harare South’s Southlea Park area are forcing residents to pay $3 per house hold as contributions to the legal fees for the arrested Odar Housing Consortium leadership.
Last week, three members of Housing Consortium developing the residential area were arrested on allegations of corruption.
The three include consortium chairperson Benny Matenga.
Allegations against them arose after businessman Philip Chiyangwa’s company Sensene Investments Private Limited, which claims to own the land, had accused them of illegally selling residential stands.
Several other senior officials of the Consortium, mostly retired soldiers and former liberation war fighters who are linked to the ousted former Vice President Joice Mujuru, are said to be under investigation pending arrest in connection with the same case.
At the weekend, hoards of local known Zanu PF youths were moving door to door in Southlea Park demanding that residents should contribute $3 each towards legal fees for the arrested Matenga and his accomplices.
“They came here and said we should give them $3 so that they add to what is already there which they wanted to give to the legal team representing the arrested people and we do not know if this is proper because we hear that they were arrested for corruption and not for anything to do with us residents,” said one resident.
“This is pure extortion. How can we be forced to contribute towards the defence of criminals who have also been stealing from us?
We have been paying monthly subscriptions of $15 for the servicing of stands which are not being serviced.
There are no water or sewerage pipes here but we continue to pay and today they have been arrested and again they are forcing us to settle their legal bill,” an angry looking old man said.
A woman identified as Mai Jacob said: “When they came to my house they said that money was needed by Monday and they said I should bring it to their office near Candy shopping centre, failure to do so they said will result in us losing our stands.”
The youths also visited tuck-shop owners at a place called Gora in the area and made the same demands.
“They also came here and ordered us to give them $3 per each operator, an amount they said was going to cover legal fees for the Consortium leaders,” said an informal trader at Gora area.
Zanu PF Harare provincial political commissar who is also the local member of Parliament for the area, Shadreck Mashayamombe, could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went answered for the rest of Sunday.