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Stop dishing out urban land to Zanu PF supporters, Kasukuwere ordered

Stop dishing out urban land to Zanu PF supporters, Kasukuwere ordered

ZANU PF was dealt a blow when the High Court yesterday ruled that Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere cannot allocate urban land.

By Everson Mushava

Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere

Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere

Kasukuwere has been doling out land to urban youths aligned to Zanu PF thorough the Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp) in a move opposition parties said was tantamount to vote-buying.

A lobby group, Residents’ Forum, represented by MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, filed a High Court application, seeking to stop Zanu PF from giving out of stands to its supporters.

Kasukuwere, the Harare City Council and the Attorney-General were cited as respondents in the application, but neither filed a notice to oppose nor appear before Justice Charles Hungwe yesterday, forcing him to deliver a default judgment. The defendants were asked to pay the costs of the lawsuit.

The effect of the ruling, Mwonzora said, was that Kasukuwere could no longer dish out urban land to party supporters, which according to sections 264, 265, 274 and 276 of the Urban Councils Act belongs to the municipalities.

“The minister is not allowed to parcel out land, which is under the jurisdiction of council,” he said.

“In fact, the High Court ruled that the minister cannot distribute urban land.”

Residents’ Forum had been seeking relief to nullify all land distributions to Zanu PF youths done by Kasukuwere, claiming this violated section 56 of the Constitution because if was discriminatory.

The lobby group also wanted to stop Kasukuwere from parcelling out council land.

Zanu PF has been parcelling out land in various cities and towns, including in Norton in the run-up to a by-election that was eventually won by independent candidate Temba Mliswa.

The party had hoped to use land to lure voters in the forthcoming 2018 elections where it is expected to face a united opposition.

Denford Ngadziore, a member of Residents’ Forum, in an affidavit said, in April this year at a Zanu PF rally in Mbare, Kasukuwere offered 1 500 hectares of land to Zanu PF youths.

“The land was specifically offered to Zanu PF youths through their leadership. Most of the members of the applicant are not affiliated to Zanu PF. Therefore, in respect to these members, the first respondent is acting unconstitutionally and in a discriminatory manner,” he said.

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