By Correspondent

In 2023 Minister of State for Manicaland Misheck Mugadza raised a red flag over illegal stands in Gimboki, Mutare.

He called for a stop on all illegal activities adding that due processes should be followed.

“A lot is being said on social media regarding the parcelling out of residential stands in Gimboki.

“President Mnangagwa is against unlawful parceling out of land and has not sanctioned these activities.

Repeated Cycle

Fast forward to 2024 and the same situation has been playing out again.

This time it is Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Tafadzwa Muguti who issued a warning to Zanu PF land barons.

The barons have allegedly been using President Mnangagwa’s name to illegally parcel out land.

Addressing Gimboki residents at a feedback meeting Muguti said they will be arrested and rot in jail.

This event followed the suspension of five Zanu PF Mutare District Co-ordination Committee members for illegally parcelling out land.

“If you see the Office of the President coming here it means that this is a very serious issue.

“We do not just come here for nothing, but, we want to put the record straight and instal order,” Muguti said.

“The President does not want lawlessness, the President does not like land barons.

“What happened here in Gimboki was illegal. If someone is corrupt, (they) must face the law.

“We want stands and buildings with proper documentation.

“We do not care about your party position or social standing or if you are a Comrade, we do not want people who destroy the country and the party.

Muguti said some party members had become untouchables and were riding on the name of the President.

Absence of Political Will

However the cycle of impotent warnings by Government officials is an indictment into the failure to deal with the problem.

This is made more stark by the Uchena Commission of Inquiry into the sale of State land tabled in 2019.

The report stated that land barons, housing cooperatives’ leaders, property developers and politically-connected people illegally sold US$3 billion worth of urban State land since 2005 and pocketed most of the cash.

Included in the report are various names of culpable individuals and entities upon whom was recommended investigations and arrests.

None of that has been done.

Instead, Government has chosen the rhetorical path constantly and impotently speaking out against the scourge while the rot continues.

Gimboki is just one of many locations across the country overrun by politically exposed individuals whom Government has allowed to flourish.

The same will continue as long as clear directions like the Uchena report are ignored and politically safe paths are chosen.

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