Zapu has compiled an inventory to establish what happened to hundreds of properties the party acquired in the early 1980s. Zapu officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the party was concerned that Zapu properties are illegally occupied by senior Zanu PF officials.
The sources said an inventory of the party properties was destroyed when the government took possession of former PF-Zapu properties and when the properties were returned some former PF-Zapu officials took them over.
“We have established that some former senior party members who are still with Zanu PF took charge of property ranging from shops, residential properties and buildings belonging to the party and that is the reason that some of them were against the revival of the party because they knew that they would be found out,” said the party official.
Zapu spokesperson, Methuseli Moyo, confirmed that the party is doing an inventory of all properties it owns. He said that the party is also aware that some Zanu PF officials and other Zapu members are clandestinely occupying the party properties.
“We are currently in the process of compiling an inventory of our assets and once that is done we will then move a step further in repossessing the properties from those that are illegally possessing them,” Moyo said.
He said the party’s properties are concentrated in Bulawayo, Harare, Mashonaland East and in Matabeleland.
Moyo, however, could not give more details and said the party would be in a position to do so once a full inventory of the properties has been compiled.
According to Zapu, the party owns properties that include the four-storey Magnet House which houses the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
The party also owns Davies Hall which is used by Zanu PF as its Bulawayo provincial headquarters.
Other properties owned by the party include farms and hotels, among them Castle Arms in Bulawayo, Green Haven — a huge entertainment facility along Victoria Falls road — and several residential properties.
Officials said several politicians with links to Zapu are staying in houses that belong to the party.
“There are a lot of people running businesses in premises belonging to Zapu while some people are staying in houses belonging to Zapu. Those people got those properties fraudulently when they were returned by government while some of the properties are still under the control of the government. Some of the properties were given to some individuals to pacify them while others secretly took control of the properties and are renting them to third parties,” said the official.
Zapu also wants a property that houses over 50 police officers and their families in Queens Park East in Bulawayo returned to them.
The property, previously known as Lundi Hotel, used to house injured Zapu cadres after the war of liberation.
Moyo said Zapu members are agitated over the property issue and said once the party has established the status of the properties it
would move to have the illegal occupants removed and the properties returned.
The interim president of Zapu, Dumiso Dabengwa, last month said the party was mobilising resources to engage a team of lawyers to take the challenge forward.
“Zapu is in the process of mobilising resources to hire a formidable team of lawyers that will lead the process for the return of the properties,” Dabengwa said
“We realised that the process to get the properties back should be legal because we will need court orders to evict the people who are currently occupying the properties.
“We have an inventory of the properties but it is not complete and there is a team working on the status of the properties and once resources are available then the legal process will begin,” Dabengwa said.
The government seized numerous properties belonging to PF-Zapu, then led by nationalist and former Vice President Joshua Nkomo, alleging that it had discovered arms caches.
The revived Zapu is expected to hold a congress in August where the issue of the properties is expected to take centre stage. Several Zapu members, led by its former intelligence chief Dabengwa, last year pulled out of the Unity Accord with Zanu PF saying Zanu PF had failed to honour its part of the bargain 22 years after the deal was consummated.