ZIPRA veterans in Matabeleland North have demanded that Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu must visit the province to show them some Zipra properties, which he claims he bought in Nyamandlovu.
This follows the death of Zipra war veteran Stanley John Wolfenden, who was the custodian of Zipra properties. Wolfenden had challenged Mpofu over ownership of some of the properties, including farms, which he claimed to be his.
Wolfenden, who passed on on Saturday, was the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s aide.
At independence in 1980, Nkomo advised former Zipra combatants to contribute $50 each to acquire Nitrum Investments Holdings, which owned a number of farms and buildings.
Nitrum chairman Walker Mathe said he was saddened by Wolfenden’s death as he was the custodian of the Nyamandlovu Zipra assets.
“Mpofu claimed to have bought the properties, but Wolfenden was opposing his claims. His (Wolfenden) death will now cause us to ask Mpofu to come and explain to us how he bought the properties since the witness who knows more about them has passed on,” Mathe said.
“As far as we know, these properties still belong to Zipra. We want a solution to this before next year’s elections.” Mpofu dismissed the claims by Zipra cadres. “Which properties are they talking about? Do not ask me stupid things,” Mpofu said before dropping the call.
In 2020, Zipra veterans engaged President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeking the return of their properties that were confiscated by the late former President Robert Mugabe during Gukurahundi in the mid-1980s.
Some of the Zipra properties grabbed by the government included Castle Arms Motel and Nest Egg building in Bulawayo, Ascot Farm in Solusi, Wood Glen Farm in Nyamandlovu and Hawton Farm in Gweru.
The late former Midlands governor Cephas Msipa reportedly resettled people from Sogwala at Hawton Farm in Gweru. Zipra properties in Harare included Nijo Farm, Salisbury Motel and Snake Park. The Zipra ex-fighters also lost over 4 000 head of cattle during the seizure of their properties by the government.