War vet arrests: Angry leaders vow more invasions

via War vet arrests: Angry leaders vow more invasions 22/05/2014 by Nkosana Dlamini NewZimbabwe

WAR veterans leaders have rubbished the surprise arrest and incarceration of 169 former fighters for invading vast tracts of private sugarcane plots in Chiredzi and Triangle last week.

Police for once took action and arrested the militant group in an unprecedented response to recurrent and often violent land invasions which began 2000 and have continued with tacit government approval.

Since then, Zimbabweans have never known of any arrests on war veterans, a militant section of President Robert Mugabe’s support base.

NewZimbabwe.com took time to hear the reactions of war veterans leaders on the astonishing arrests of the group.

War veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda and self-styled commander of the land invasions Joseph Chinotimba, in separate phone interviews, both denied the forceful settlements on the plots were land invasions, preferring to call them demonstrations.

While Chinotimba talked himself hoarse about the perceived misdeed by police, Sibanda preferred to vent his frustrations on this reporter.

Sibanda took issue with the reporter’s choice of the phrase “alleged land invasions” in his question, saying he could only respond to a “properly” asked question.

It was not an invasion but a demonstration … Jabulani Sibanda

It was a demonstration

“I am told that it was a demonstration … so you are saying for land invasion.

“So you are not asking the correct question. Don’t you know the difference between a demonstration and land invasion? So you will have to re-ask your question correctly next time,” Sibanda said before terminating the phone conversation.

He however continuously rejected subsequent calls.

But it was the outspoken Chinotimba who was evidently pained by the arrests, at one point threatening to rally more former fighters to invade the place.

“To me that is rubbish. I neither to comment or neither not comment (sic). But it (arrests) does not mean anything,” said the Buhera South MP in his now celebrated broken English.

Chinotimba said it was well within the war veterans’ rights to force themselves on the land in question.

“I am saying the war veterans ukaona vavakuenda kunotsvaga minda there is something which is happening. Otherwise those people were in the land reform prior …

“But at the end of the day, they were all removed from that land so the war veterans, whether they are arrested them, whether they are not arrested them, it (invasions) will continue (sic).”

Its kabiyas, its rubbish

He continued: “To me that is kabiyas, its rubbish. The war veterans should continue going there and we are going to call an emergency meeting in that place. They better arrest us all because that land belongs to the people; that land belongs to the war veterans, so that’s all.

“Those people who arrested them, they don’t know what they are doing. They were supposed to investigate the thing so why (sic) the war veterans are coming there rather than putting them in stocks.”

Chinotimba reiterated that the invaded property belonged to the war veterans and also gave his opinion on the current feud between government and Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims at Chingwizi holding camp.

“Minda yanga yagara iriyavo, they are not invading; so they are returning pavanga vadzingwa,” he said.

“It’s like Chingwizi handitika? All the people who are there they (government) are saying they are going to allocating them another land (sic). They are supposed to go and allocating another land not to arrest them.

“They are not supposed to arrest people who are looking for land. They are demonstrating for them to be given another land. Not invading.”

Chinotimba distanced his Zanu PF party from the current u-turn on land invasions, preferring to heap blame for the arrests on Masvingo’s provincial governor whom he accuses of setting the police on the war veterans.

Zanu PF not to blame

“Police were given an order by the governor, so l am talking to the governor; so there is no way the police can arrest a person without an informer,” he said.

Further probed on what he thought about Zanu PF’s current commitment towards the land reform, the fiery Chinotimba got more incensed.

“I am not talking about Zanu PF, where does Zanu PF come from, Heh? You are also a kabiyas journalist haikona. I am never talk about Zanu PF here. I am talk about the governor. He represents government not Zanu PF.

“The DA (District administrator) is a civil servant who represents the government. If you are asking me, are you asking Zanu PF? So why are transforming your message to Zanu PF? So don’t talk about Zanu PF and chii chii!

“Zanu PF is not the one who arrested the people. The people were arrested by police, and the DA and governor. So ukaresva kunyora ipapo I will sue you. Because pazere vanhu pandirikutaura apa.”

Since the first invasions of white owned land started after the rejection of the referendum February 2000, a militant section of the former fighters has been a larger than life group.

So influential have they been that, at some point, they arm-twisted a broke government to release Z$50,000 pay-outs as compensation for liberating the country.

Impact on investment

The invasions have been blamed for the country’s economic decline since agriculture was the mainstay of the economy.

Commenting of the sudden arrest of the group, political analyst Charles Mangongera said the current government was keen on convincing the rich but sceptical West it had reformed.

“This government is desperate to engage with its former adversaries including the West and it has to be seen to be upholding the rule of law,” he said.

“Remember we have just come out of an election and the war vets are no longer an indispensable group.

“This will only last as long as it helps their political agenda. But it’s not ingrained in their DNA to respect property rights.”



  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Chinos should worry about himself. His time in the limelight is nearly over.

  • comment-avatar
    Bambabzonke 8 years ago

    Baboons are more productive

    • comment-avatar

      You insult baboons. They look after each other. They share the food. They take care of their troop. Their leader works for the good of their troops. I would join them anytime.

  • comment-avatar
    Mafatshi 8 years ago

    Well said. Me too

  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 8 years ago

    Thats why they are baboons.

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 8 years ago

    ‘I shall rally the war vets”. Will someone take video footage when that happens? I’m looking forward to seeing them invade in their wheelchairs and on crutches! Real war vets must be in their seventies by now!

    • comment-avatar
      furedi 8 years ago

      No Doris you got it wrong, there are many still in late 50s and early 60s. Problem is most are useless unless they are in a mob. They can never take anybody on,in a one on one,”cowards”

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    If I recall correctly the brave and gallant Mr Chiotimba was going to get an army together and go to the rescue of the schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria. Please Mr Chinos, this is a fantastic idea. Get a very big group of your “war vets” together and ask the airforce to fly you to Nigeria. You and your fighters can then parachute down into the jungle. You can then beat the sh.. out of Boko Haram and bring the girls back to safety. This should so easy for you, with your vast experience of beating up unarmed farmers and their workers. PLEASE PLEASE I am begging you. DO IT !!!

  • comment-avatar

    why invade a productive place,why not a new bush?

    • comment-avatar
      Petal 8 years ago

      Because they are too LAZY to clear the Bush-easy put their sticky fingers where it should not belong

  • comment-avatar

    yes well ZPF including the Pres have sowed a wind and are reaping a whirlwind. They have laid the foundations for complete lawlessness. May God have mercy on Zimbabwe

  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 8 years ago

    Interesting . The ‘war vets.’had never won a battle in the past. They are trying now after 34 years still. What a joke.

  • comment-avatar

    Take your land guys,when it’s finished take the roads. When roads are finished take schools till you take our wives

  • comment-avatar
    Tongoona 8 years ago

    Hope the arrest of 169 war vets is not a mere gimmick. Comrades Chinotimba and Sibanda should have been arrested too to lead their fellow war vets behind bars. Supporting lawlessness is as good as being complicit to farm invasions.

    Chinotimba must know that he is an MP to advise his constituency to respect the laws of the country, furthermore he should lead by example. Those who voted for him should give him a vote of no confidence. He is a wrong choice to represent a constituency.

  • comment-avatar

    Everybody beware the locusts are in town.
    They will devour every greenery in sight
    They will fatten themselves on someone else’s sweat
    Then breed uncontrollably
    and when they leave the once green bush will be as barren as the Sahara.
    They will head for another patch with juicy ripe fruit tendered by someone’s hands and labour
    and …you guessed it…
    the cycle continues.

    Someone needs to fumigate these pests.

    Its no longer about land redistribution. That is all rubbish. GREED and LAWLESSNESS

  • comment-avatar

    This bumbling,incoherent,quarter brain Chinotimba apparently represents some people in Parliament.

    Lawd have mercy!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Saddened 8 years ago

    Let’s not forget that the likes of Chinos & Sibanda are where they are at the express wish of Mugabe. We cannot expect better from this low calibre of person who have been at the forefront of destroying this wonderful country. This is now Mugabe’s problem so let’s see what happens. Can’t wait!!

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    I am always wary when the term baboon is bandied about.
    I remember a time when the whites used to call us blacks, baboons.

    Given that a fight against the evil of ZANU has to be by Zimbabweans of all ilk, derogatory terms of this nature do not bode well for the coherence of such a force.