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We are dismayed by the actions of the ZANU(PF) led government and the MDC-T led Harare City Council in destroying hundreds of homes in Harare next to the Harare International Airport.
We recognize that there is housing crisis in Harare and other urban centres where residents are placed on the waiting list for years awaiting allocation of either a residential stand or a house built by the authorities. In the case of Harare, ZANU(PF) factions run various housing associations such as Mushandirapamwe Housing Association etc.
Ordinary citizens have been coerced into joining these schemes and consequently into joining ZANU(PF), control of the land being in the hands of the ZANU(PF) leadership. In Harare, ZANU(PF) land barons have sold residential stands to the people who then went on to build shelter for their families using their hard-earned money.
Unfortunately for the people, the owner of the land on which residential stands allocated and whose houses have been destroyed, now belongs to the wrong political faction.
The homes which have been destroyed have become, using the American term, “collateral damage” in the ZANU(PF) succession war. The destruction of the homes of ordinary working-class people has been used to punish land barons who belong to the “wrong” faction. To these competing factions, the people of Zimbabwe are expendable in the fight for personal power.
The MDC-T which controls Harare City Council, and which has, in the past, claimed to be a “labour movement” is now subserviently taking instructions from the controlling ZANU(PF) faction and has become a willing partner in this direct attack on the working people. It is reported, by the way, that President Robert Mugabe has called these homes “an eye-sore”.
As the politically-conscious vanguard of the Zimbabwe working-class and peasantry, we totally condemn the destruction of homes, irrespective of how the beneficiaries acquired the stands.
We have already witnessed many cases of the take-over of land allocated to former freedom-fighters, the peasantry and the rural working-class during the land reform programme of 2000 being grabbed by members of the black parasitic bourgeoisie. If we do not resist now, any person, family or group belonging to the wrong political “basket” are liable to be rendered homeless – refugees in their own country.
We call on the working-class, peasantry and all progressive Zimbabweans to stand by these victims of forced removals and offer material support.
We call on the spirit of resistance against the land-grabbing Rhodesians led by Benjamin Burombo and the African Voice Association in the 1950s and by Chief Rekayi Tangwena in the 1970s to inspire the people of Zimbabwe to resist the land-grabbing ZANU(PF) élite.
As Communists our position is clear; both the Zimbabwe Government and the Harare City Council must be forced to compensate the evicted families.
Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena
Zimbabwe Communist Group
+27 83 340 1000
Zimbabwe Communist League
+27 78 955 8278