ZANU PF supporters in Chipinge East constituency staged a demonstration Saturday against legislator, Joseph Chinotimba, who reportedly wants to take over a farm in the constituency.
Chinotimba, recently caused a stir after winning a Human Rights Award.
Chinotimba, MP for Buhera South, was, sources indicate, recently given an offer letter by government for Chihoza farm in Chipinge East.
Chinotimba is one of the war veterans who led the 2000 controversial land invasions but he reportedly chose not grab a farm for himself at the time.
Zanu PF sources in Chipinge said that efforts to block Chinotimba were being coordinated by the local Member of Parliament, Winmore Mlambo, who they accused of promoting tribalism.
The sources said Mlambo, who is also the deputy ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister, was also targeting Dorothy Mabika the former Zanu PF Manicaland vice chair and daughter to central committee member Alice Chitima.
Dorothy Mabika, who is married in Murewa, Mashonaland East province is also interested in getting a farm in Chipinge East.
Said a party official: “Dr Mlambo is fanning violence here.
“He is the one engineering these demonstrations in which he is targeting people whom he says do not come from Chipinge.
“He is saying that Chinotimba should go to Buhera if he wants land. He is also saying Dorothy Mabika should get land in Murewa where she married.
Contacted for comment Mlambo said his constituents were concerned with the issuance of farms to outsiders when many locals remained landless.
“It is not correct that the land issue here is tribal. The issue is that for a long time we have been asking government to give land to local war veterans and local people who do not have land,” he said.
“We have such letters which we did write requesting for land and now they (the local community) are surprised to see Chinotimba coming here with an offer letter claiming that he was given a farm.”
Mlambo further claimed that it was not Chinotimba who wanted Chihoza farm but his son Edwin.
“It is his son Edwin, a councillor in Mashonaland Central where he also has a 700 hectare farm, who was given this offer letter and yet the President, at the just ended 6th Zanu PF congress, said the policy is no longer one-man-one-farm but one-family-one-farm.”
Asked if he was the one sanctioning the demonstrations in the area, Mlambo said: “I am not sanctioning but guiding the community which wants to see justice taking place and demonstrations are one of the ways in which they are expressing their displeasure to what is happening.
“In fact (Saturday’s) demonstration was affected by communication breakdown between the organizers and the community.
“It was not supposed to have happened because by so doing we will be giving the opposition MDC an advantage because, as you are aware, they said they want to stage nationwide demonstrations. We want the issue to be resolved amicably not violently.”
Chinotimba could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was off.NewZimbabwe