Tatenda Chitagu, News Day, September 19, 2011
Zanu PF youths in Chiredzi have invaded three buildings owned by white businessmen in the sugar-producing town.
The youths appear to have taken calls by Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere for a take-over of foreign-owned businesses too far.
Led by a shadowy Zanu PF youth group, Masvingo Youths Empowerment Association (MYEA)–an equivalent of Harare’s Upfumi Kuvadiki–the youths, toyi-toying and singing revolutionary songs, stormed three buildings.
They invaded Govan Investments’ building, owned by Southhood Govan, Graig Hanning Building and another one belonging to Jan Van Javeert, proprietor of the South East Tanning Company declaring the properties theirs.
“We were shocked to see some youths singing in the afternoon in town and we wondered what the occasion was. They headed for the buildings and accused the businessmen of ignoring the country’s empowerment regulations. The youths also threatened to move into the businessmen’s companies,” said a source privy to the developments.
The cowed businessmen could not be reached for comment as they were said to be in hiding, but members of MYEA and Zanu PF confirmed the incident.
“It is true; we seized the buildings in Chiredzi and we have not exhausted the town yet. This is a programme which will move to all parts of Masvingo. Chiredzi was our first port of call. We are doing this in line with the minister (Kasukuwere)’s indigenisation drive,” MYEA secretary-general Misheck Zazo said.
“We believe as youths we should not be left out as some of us did not benefit from the government’s previous empowerment programmes.”
Zanu PF national youth deputy political commissar Talent Majoni also confirmed the incident and threw his weight behind the youths.
“We fully back the youths who took over the buildings in Chiredzi.
“This is redistribution of wealth. After all, some of these whites acquired the wealth by hook or crook, taking advantage of our ancestors when they colonised us,” said Majoni.
He said the youths would move into bigger companies such as sugar conglomerate Tongaat Hulett, owners of Triangle and Hippo Valley estates.