Nkomo hits back

Dumisai Muleya

ZANU PF chairman John Nkomo has warned ruling party “infil-trators and saboteurs” playing to the gallery in the deepening multiple farm allocation row that their antics will no longer be toler

ated.

Nkomo, who is also Land, Land Reform and Resettlement minister, said he was proceeding to recover surplus farms ministers and high-ranking officials were allocated, despite protests by those affected.

He said the angry obfuscations by those “defending the in-defensible” would not scare him or frustrate his efforts to retrieve the farms from land-grabbers.

“I won’t be intimidated, per-turbed or frustrated by those causing all this hullabaloo,” Nkomo said.

“There are some people now abusing Zanu PF for personal ambitions and gain. As chairman of Zanu PF and, indeed, as minister I will stand firm in defence of the party. Zanu PF has come a long way and at different times it has had infiltrators and people planted within – the fifth columnists – but they have always been flushed out.”

Nkomo said he would not sink so low as to engage in mudslinging because the seized farms would eventually be taken anyway. He said whoever was writing the Sunday Mail’s weekly column under the name Lowani Ndlovu “does not think” because he was trying to “defend the indefensible”. Mirror publisher Ibbo Mandaza also slammed the seemingly ghostly writer – widely thought to be a voluble cabinet minister – this week for attacking people under cover of anonymity.

Nkomo said Zanu PF would not accept elements within the party to “abuse” its name to promote personal agendas, while whittling away at its reputation.

“We can’t have people who behave like the opposition among us. Sooner or later Zanu PF shall cleanse itself of these elements,” he said.

Nkomo sparked the increasingly messy wrangle with fellow ministers who had more than one farm recently after he wrote to them saying he was taking back their extra land holdings. The officials included ministers Jonathan Moyo (Information and Publicity), Ignatius Chombo (Local Government), Joseph Made (Agriculture), Patrick Chinmasa (Justice) and Chris Mu-shohwe (Transport). The mini-sters denied that they owned surplus farms, either saying they had now abandoned them or that they were allocated to their relatives.

Moyo, who was deemed to have three farms, said the withdrawal letters were “preposterous and annoying”. He said the safari farm, cited as Lot 2 of Dete in Hwange, was withdrawn and allocated to a Mrs Jackie Mayers, who is his cousin.

Moyo has also denied ownership of a farm in Bubi-Mguza area, saying it was allocated to his mother. He has further denied that he had an interest in Little Connemara, claiming that it “dramatised the malice” behind the letter of withdrawal. But Nkomo said such things would not be tolerated.

“Lowani Ndlovu” two weeks ago attacked Nkomo and other officials charged with land reform, saying the current events showed that “they don’t think at all”. He also indirectly attack-ed President Robert Mugabe when he said his recent split-ting of land ministries did not work.

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