ZAPU lawyers have come up with an inventory of the opposition party’s properties which were seized by the government during the Gukurahundi disturbances a few years after Independence.
The government forcibly grabbed ZAPU properties as well Nitram (Pvt) Ltd, a company established by former ZIPRA fighters from their demobilisation payments, in the early 1980s following the discovery of an arms cache on some of the party’s farms in the Midlands province and Bulawayo.
The discovery prompted then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe’s government to launch a ruthless operation known as Gukurahundi which left thousands of innocent civilians either maimed or killed by soldiers ostensibly deployed to deal with a dissident menace in the two regions.
Speaking to journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club last week ZAPU president, Dumiso Dabengwa, said the party would not rest until the properties have been returned to their rightful owners.
“We have come up with an inventory in order to reclaim our property,” he said.
“Our legal team is currently making consultations on the quickest possible methods of recovering the properties.”
The ZAPU president said some of the properties which include buildings, farms and motels were grabbed by individuals while most of the assets are in the hands of the state.
Some of the buildings have since depreciated in value because of vandalism.
One of the seized buildings, Magnet House, is the current provincial headquarters of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Bulawayo.
Apart from the immovable assets, ZAPU has also been battling to recover its liberation war records which were also confiscated during the height of the disturbances.