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Empowerment taken too far

In scenes reminiscent of the 2000 land grab, Zanu PF youths and supporters have unleashed a reign of terror, forcing people out of buildings, which they claim to have taken over.

In the latest episode, Zanu PF youths invaded a business premise in Mbare where they threatened to take over the building and open spaces around it.
The marauding youths last Tuesday occupied Angelbeck’s plot that houses 32 properties being leased to 87 tenants.

The property belongs to the late Samuel Koefman’s family and is currently being administered by Knight Frank Newmark Global Real Estate.

Some of the affected properties include Club Matute, Chiduku Wholesalers and Retailers, Karima Cash and Carry among many other businesses that include home industries operating from the plot.

When The Standard visited the plot on Friday, the Zanu PF youths were busy clearing part of the open space which they had grabbed while others had already fenced off another part of the open space.

The caretaker of the plot, Everest Mayor, on Friday confirmed the invasion.

“This plot is a private property but the Zanu PF youths came and grabbed pieces of land along Shashi Road, also at the roundabout and spaces on the back yard of Mudhomboyi, Motsi, Masiyanise and Nhekairo businesses,” Mayor explained.

“They are not even considering that there are water pipes on those backyards.

“According to them, once they are done with grabbing the open spaces they will start evicting tenants inside buildings on the plot and they take over.”
Other sources said the youths have since early this year been trying to grab the piece of land.

“They came a few weeks before President Robert Mugabe’s birthday and tried to extort US$5 000 ostensibly for ‘protection’ from the property owners before management at Knight Frank asked them to make the cash request through formal ways and that the money should not be demanded as ransom,” a source said.


“The youths were even offered places to operate their businesses on condition that they also, like anybody else, pay market rent but they refused saying they wanted to use the place for free.”

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