WAR veterans under the ZIPRA banner, have decided to moved into a property they argue was confiscated by former President Robert Mugabe during the post-independence atrocities commonly referred to as Gukurahundi and now used as the Central Intelligence Organisation’s provincial headquarters, in Bulawayo.
The former fighters argue that Magnet House, was owned by Nitram (Pvt) Ltd, a holding company formed by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu party after independence using funds from the demobilisation exercise.
In an interview with newzimbabwe.com Nitram Properties chairman, John Gazi said the former liberation war fighters were supposed to have taken over Magnet House last month but will now do so this month.
“We have notified authorities about our intentions to occupy our buildings, which were illegally seized by Robert Mugabe.
“We intended to occupy in April but the day clashed with a meeting hosted by the war veterans in Bulawayo, which we had to attend as well. We will certainly start the occupations this month of May,” said Gazi.
The Nitram chairperson accused some unnamed influential government officials whom he said were trying to scuttle the move.
“Our biggest problem is that some political creatures are jumping into the fray and spoiling the whole thing .This might cause unnecessary friction but will not derail our efforts to realise what we set out to do when we bought our properties,” said Gazi.
He pointed out that his organisation is fully behind the new government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“We are a new ZIPRA which seeks to take part in the economic and uplifting of our country. We can build Zimbabwe together,” said Gazi.
Mnangagwa has opened up debate around Gukurahundi and allowed the reburial of all those lying in shallow graves across Matabeleland as well as the Midlands.
Gazi said Nitram intends to use the building as its offices.
“We need to establish offices for Nitram as a matter of urgency, as we are currently operating like street kids when we are real estate owners,” he said.
Nitram according to Gazi, is currently conducting an internal clean -up exercise amid reports of abuse of funds and mismanagement.
“It seems the previous regime selectively, handed over certain Nitram properties to certain individuals who purported to represent the company while delaying the total hand over of the stolen property,” he added.
According to Gazi, some of the secretly returned properties include Nest Egg farm, Woody Glen farm and Castle Arms Motel.