Tracy Mutinhiri, the deputy Minister of Labour and Social Services’ farm was yesterday invaded by people claiming to be veterans of the 1970s war of liberation and youths suspected to belong to Zanu PF.
An advance group led by a local councillor only identified as Murembwa and a man identified as Chizema claimed they had been sent by the senator for the area and State Security minister, Sydney Sekeramayi.
Sekeremayi could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was unreachable throughout the day.
The invaders threatened to burn crops and destroy equipment.
They accused Mutinhiri of selling out to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC during the election re-run of the Speaker of Parliament post.
Vimbai, who is not up for eviction today, has had a fairytale run in the BBA house and often boasts about her mother’s status as a Zanu PF deputy minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government.
Vimbai has sometimes been seen teaching other BBA contestants Zanu PF jingles that praise Mugabe and extol his leadership virtues.
Tracy Mutinhiri said she had been expecting the group on Thursday, as the senator had a meeting with war veterans at their office, where they orchestrated a plan to kick her out of the farm.
“They asked about our crops and said they wanted to burn them and they also wanted to know the number of cattle we have on the farm, claiming they (cattle) now belonged to them,” a farm worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
The invaders were also allegedly interested in about 100 bales of tobacco and about 90 tonnes of maize, which were on the farm.
The worker said he had fled the farm as the invaders started to arrive, as they had threatened to assault him if he did not co-operate.
Later a bigger group of about 70 people arrived at the farm where they were singing songs denouncing the deputy minister and accusing her of selling out.
Mutinhiri is accused of having voted for Lovemore Moyo, the MDC-T candidate for the Speaker of Parliament post, earlier this year.
“Where is the evidence?” she quipped.
“It was a secret ballot.
“They are belittling the secret ballot box system by pointing fingers at me.”
In an interview at her farm, she said she was staying put as that was also the land of her ancestors and that the land would eventually be inherited by her children.
She said her ex-husband, Ambrose had fought for 15 years during the armed struggle and her family had every right to own land.
Mutinhiri has not endeared herself to party members and there were reports that there were efforts to expel her from Zanu PF, as she was deemed to be too close to MDC-T alleging that she had voted for Moyo.
“I am a brave woman, I don’t want to fight them, I am staying put,” Mutinhiri said defiantly.
She claimed the invasion had been timed to coincide with President Robert Mugabe’s absence from the country. Mugabe is in South Sudan to witness the independence of the country from the north.
“This culture is bad for the country, it will attract negative publicity. It’s unfortunate the senator sent people to intimidate me. I am not his soft target,” Mutinhiri added.