Embattled ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe yesterday blasted his Minister of Local Government and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere for corruptly awarding housing stands meant for youths to alleged rapist Prophet Walter Magaya of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministry.
Eye witnesses said Mugabe ranted at Kasukuwere as he was greeting members of his ZANU PF Politburo gathered at the headquaters in Harare just before commencement of their regular weekly meetings.
Mugabe is said to have challenged Kasukuwere why his ministry had allocated Prophet Magaya acres of land for stands instead of directly giving to youths. In response, Kasukuwere mumbled and tried to exonerate himself by saying that it was instead the youths who had identified Prophet Magaya as a developer and not his ministry.
However, Mugabe would not have any of it and insisted that it was in fact Kasukuwere who had corruptly done so. Mugabe’s rant amused other politburo members like Vice President Mnangagwa and Minister of Finance who could be seen grining while the youthful minister was been given a verbal lashing by the octogenarian leader.
Last week, the state-run The Sunday Mail reported that offer letters for land earmarked for youths in Chishawasha had been withdrawn under unclear circumstances. The paper alleged that as at July 26, Local Government’s State Land Management section had allocated land to Udcorp 100 hectares, National Housing Fund 378ha, Harare Youths 300ha, Homelink 200ha, Twinbag Investments, N-Frays Infrastructure, Farmtell Investments, Nettfields Investiments (Pvt) Ltd and Mahlaba (Pvt) Ltd each was allocated 100 ha while Elephant trust (linked to a cabinent minister)- 70 ha, Zimshelter, Washtrom, Denrock Investments (Kudzai Chipanga) and Casewood (Cde Tongai Kasukuwere) were each given 50ha.
The paper alleged that some of the firms are linked to G40 ZANU PF factional members like Shadreck Mashayamombe, Sarah Mahoka, Innocent Hamandishe and Betty Kaseke. Prophet Magaya is said to have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry and deposited $100 000 and was granted 300 ha under his Panet Africa company.
A PHD official said the allocation of the land to Planet Africa was above board saying: “As far as we know, the land that we bought was not allocated to youths, and we would have no interest in disempowering youn Zimbabweeans. We only know of our 300 hecatres and cannot comment on anything elese that is happening on that farm.”
Fearing a serious media backlash, Kasukuwere yesterday tried to cajole some journalists into watering down Mugabe’s outburts. He said the President was referring to youths who had sold the land to prvate developers and was not referring to them.
He, however, admitted that of a lot of murkiness in the allocation of land for residential development saying that the issue needed to be unravelled.