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Committee accused of self-dealing in seized ZPRA properties

The ZPRA Veterans Association has expressed concern that the committee appointed to oversee the return of their properties has elevated itself into ownership of Nitram Private Limited shareholders after identifying 100 properties, rather than advocating for the removal of the Caveat placed on the seized properties.

Nitram Private Limited is the former ZPRA fighters’ investment vehicle, through which they jointly purchased the properties after donating $50 each from their demobilisation payouts after independence.

The ZPRA properties were seized under the Unlawful Organisation Act in 1982 (Caveat No. 15 of 82) and transferred in January 1987 to the President of Zimbabwe (under No. 56 of 87).

According to the ZPRA Veterans Association, no progress can be made on regaining the properties unless the Caveat is removed or lifted by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Last year, on January 28, an 11-member committee was appointed to negotiate the return of their properties. The committee was chosen and allegedly claimed to have been appointed by Zanu PF Vice President Kembo Mohadi, led by former War Vets minister and Zanu PF politburo member Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube.

Chaired by Volta Ekem Moyo, the committee identified 100 properties, with 78 having title deeds and the other 22 pending.

It has been reported that this committee has not yet submitted a list of beneficiaries of buildings across the country to Vice-President Kembo Mohadi to facilitate legal transfer.

However, ZPRA Veterans Association spokesperson, Buster Magwizi, claims Moyo’s committee has been procedurally allocating themselves shares in Nitram.

“During 2023, several meetings were held by the so-called committee and they moved from committee status to a board and then into shareholders. Apparently, they have been allocating themselves shares, maybe nominal shares so that they substantiate their board at Tredgold (Deeds Office),” said Magwizi in an interview with CITE.

Magwizi claimed since this current committee has become a board, they “had found jobs so they could operate for a long-term framework.”

“Who gave them the terms of reference to travel across the country, identifying properties and issuing eviction orders? How are these properties going to be returned without cancellation of the Caveat?” he questioned.

“This is open to abuse as they can sell any of those properties, rent them out or delay the process of Caveat removal.”

Magwizi said ‘serious’ advocacy was required to remove the Caveat, as it was not in President Mnangagwa’s interest to do so because it would resurrect “memories and recriminations from many people, which he did not want.”

Magwizi claimed what the committee was doing amounted to a criminal offence and the association was considering filing a lawsuit against them.

“We think it was dubiously done and certain sitting members of the board are said to have been resigned yet there were no minutes to say who was resigning and who was not,” he said, claiming the Deeds office could have acted without due diligence in coopting the new shareholders.

“The new board fraudulently occupied the Nitram board status on the CR14 whereas it was originally a ZPRA property committee, which graduated itself without even authority of a business meeting in terms of the memorandum and articles of the association but maybe from the rallies they would have conducted at Stanley Square were people were made to agree and sign forms.”

Reached for comment, Moyo said he does not want to comment on stories that do not benefit the former fighters.

“I stand for ZPRA and for me to be involved in a storm of rumour-mongering, doesn’t fit the agenda of the board. Our mandate is to work for all the ZPRAs not to promote what antagonises ZPRA,” Moyo said in an interview at their town office.

“We are united and we want our properties to come because we are there to benefit as ZPRA.”

Meanwhile, Magwizi said when former ZPRA cadres engaged Moyo’s committee at a meeting held in Bulawayo on January 27, 2024, at McDonald Hall on how far they had progressed, it was unclear.

“Questions were raised on who funds and equips them. The response was there’s no need to know so long as the process is happening and that was Tshinga responding,” Magwizi claimed.

“Tshinga has overtaken the process of mitigating for our properties and the channels have been lengthened. We were hoping it would have been shorter, judging from what it was supposed to be after 28 January last year. This would not have taken 12 months to get the caveats cancelled

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