HARARE – Zanu PF youths yesterday besieged a Bindura farm belonging to former ambassador Agrippa Mutambara, who is now a member of the Joice Mujuru-led Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), baying for his blood.
They were apparently angered by the fact that he is now backing an opposition party.
Mutambara, a retired brigadier general, told the Daily News in a telephone interview that his farm known as Shangere was besieged by rowdy youths whom he suspected to have been dispatched by the Zanu PF top leadership from 6am to 1300hrs.
“Zanu PF youths came to my farm saying they were sent by (Zanu PF Mashonaland Central province chairperson Dickson Mafios and (Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere to take the farm.
“They said the farm belongs only to Zanu PF members and they only left after their ring leaders were taken by the police,” said Mutambara.
When he was asked to comment about the youths’ claims that they had been sent by him, Mafios, who is related to Kasukuwere, said he was in a meeting.
But as dozens of high-profile former Zanu PF officials cross the floor to join former vice president Mujuru and her political outfit, the Daily News also learnt that more such invasions are in the offing as the governing party seeks to strike fear in would-be deserters.
Mutambara said what is now unravelling is the clearest indication that democracy is dead in Zanu PF and also that the governing party brooks no dissent even from “those they shared the trenches with”.
Quoting the youths, Mutambara said they were singing bastardised liberation war struggle songs and heaping praises on Mugabe as the sole owner of the land between Zambezi and Limpopo rivers.
“This is the true face of Zanu PF and this is why I left Zanu PF, they want to win by forcing people to do as they like, this is very sad, they say the farm belongs to Gushungo (Mugabe) but he was our president and never participated in the liberation war, we are the ones who were on the forefront and this is indeed shocking,” said Mutambara.
One of the reasons why Mujuru and her allies broke ranks with Zanu PF is the idolisation of 92-year-old Mugabe who is given demigod status by his toady followers.
And the invasion of Mutambara’s farm also vindicated opposition claims that the ad hoc land reform programme benefited mostly Zanu PF supporters — with those of divergent views being sidelined or as of now risking to lose their farms.
Narrating the stand-off, Mutambara said as soon as he officially announced that he would be joining ZPF, he got wind of plans to grab his farm by his disenchanted comrades who felt he had betrayed the struggle.
“I am at the farm now, the police came and apprehended the ring leaders and when they came back they said they will return before end of the week and take the farm,” said Mutambara.
Asked how his farm labourers reacted when the youths arrived, Mutambara said since he had been forewarned, the workers anticipated the invasion.
“Our workers were expecting this, most of them were in Zanu PF before and they also joined me when I left.
“I had warned them that invaders would come. Some days ago I heard that they were plans to invade my farm so I was prepared,” said Mutambara.