By SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
War veterans in Mashonaland Central province have accused Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mavhunga of allegedly grabbing land from stalwarts of the liberation struggle and re-allocating it to people perceived as her allies.
Mavhunga recently prematurely ended a provincial lands committee meeting in Bindura after provincial war veterans’ leader Sam Parirenyatwa confronted her over the issue, which he alleged bordered on corruption.
Parirenyatwa this week could neither confirm nor deny the incident and referred all questions to Mavhunga.
“I am not mandated to speak to the Press on land issues, but instead, you can ask the chair (Mavhunga). I guess she is in a better position to answer to that,” Parirenyatwa said.
Mavhunga has, however, not been answering her phone for the past two days and also had not responded to questions sent to her.
NewsDay has it on good authority that one of the cases brought up by Parirenyatwa during the meeting was that of a land dispute between Patrick Mashayanyika and Charles Make, a son to the late war veteran Joshua Make, who was popularly known as Chenjerai Mukubwa.
Mashayanyika, an alleged ally of Mavhunga, is reportedly trying to eject Make, with the backing of the minister, from subdivision 10 of Bellevue Farm in Mazowe.
The dispute has since spilled into the courts and is expected to be heard at Concession Magistrate Courts under case number C 32 at a date yet to be advised.
Some war veterans who spoke to NewsDay said they resolved to protest against Mavhunga after Parirenyatwa was removed as one of the signatories of the lands committee.
“We are fed up with Mavhunga who is sidelining us and our departed heroes’ children in as far as land is concerned,” one of the war veterans, who requested anonymity, said.
“She managed to remove our leader as signatory in the lands committee. Now it is only herself, the provincial administrator Cosmas Chiringa and the Zanu PF Mashonaland Central chairperson Kazembe Kazembe who can sign to approve land allocations, but these are people she can easily manipulate.”
The war veterans said the ex-freedom fighters met in Guruve recently and agreed to stage protests at Mavhunga’s Mutungagore government offices in Bindura.
“We are hoping to lock her office until our concerns are addressed,” said the war veteran.
In June, Mavhunga was caught up in another land storm when she reportedly directed the chief lands officer in the province to withdraw an offer letter to one of the most productive farmers in Centenary to pave way for a relative. The farmer, Garikai Jacobs, has transformed his farm into one of the top five maize and tobacco producers in Muzarabani.