Conrad Mupesa Correspondent
Zanu-PF youths in Makonde District want fresh land audits conducted under the new dispensation to unearth alleged corruption in the allocation of land. Speaking at a Makonde youth inter-district meeting at Murereka Primary School in Lion’s Den at the weekend, youths said most of them failed to get land.
The youths allege corruption by former Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement officials. They pointed fingers at some prominent party officials and lands officers who allegedly demanded and received bribes to allocate land.
“We have had several people clashing on a single piece of land, but surprisingly all of them possess offer letters stamped from the lands office. Some of the beneficiaries say they paid large sums of money to land officers or some Zanu-PF officials so that they could be allocated the land,” said Cde Edmore Mashiri from Mhangura.
Youths pleaded with Government to speed up the downsizing of farms so that they also benefit.
“A lot of people, including some big politicians who were allocated land, are underutilising it. We are pleading with Government to speed up the downsizing exercise so that youths also benefit,” said an unidentified youth.
Others blamed former Lands zand Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora for turning a blind eye on the activities of the known corrupt clique.
“The complaints were raised, but the ex-Minister did not do much to rectify the situation. He was rather soft or turned a blind eye,” one youth from Lion’s Den said.
However, Dr Mombeshora, who was present at the meeting, distanced himself from the scandal, saying quite a number of land officers were dismissed from their duties for corruption.
“A Mhangura ZRP officer-in-charge once called me over allegations of some Zanu-PF officials embroiled in dirty land deals, but refused to furnish me with the names of the officials. There was nothing I could have done under those circumstances. Where evidence was convincing, we fired some land officers for corruption,” said Dr Mombeshora.
Youths from Chinhoyi and other areas in the district said they wanted residential stands, capital to start fish farming projects and access to mine at Eldorado Mine, which has since been sealed off.
During the same meeting, Mashonaland West provincial youth chairperson Cde Vengai Musengi took the opportunity to urge youths to rally solidly behind Zanu-PF presidential candidate Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa in this year’s harmonised elections. He also encouraged youths who did not register to vote to do so during the mop-up exercise by the Zimbawe Electoral Commission (Zec).
The meeting was attended by Mashonaland West provincial secretary for health in the Women’s League Cde Precious Chenhamo Masango, National Assembly member Cde Jennifer Mhlanga, and provincial youth members.