BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
A prominent war veteran says he has been receiving death threats for campaigning for the return of properties seized by the government from war veterans.
John Gazi, the chairperson of Nitram, a company owned by former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zpra) fighters, said he feared he might be killed like another war veterans leader
Cain Nkala, who died in 2001.
Gazi said he has been receiving death threats since he began pushing for the lifting of caveats on Nitram properties that were seized by the government under the Unlawful Organisations
Act in 1982 (Caveat No. 15 of 82) at the height of the Gukurahundi massacres.
He accused retired and serving civil servants who grabbed some of the Zipra properties of being behind the alleged threats.
Gazi has been pushing for the lifting of the caveats on Nitram properties to allow Zipra cadres to have access to them.
Nitram was formed after independence by Zpra cadres, who contributed monies from their demobilisation payouts and managed to purchase several properties across the country to cater
for their welfare.
“I am revealing the death threats against me because Cain Nkala, the late chairman of war veterans association who, when he was on the verge of exposing the people who killed Patrick
Nabanyama, was abducted and killed. Those who abducted him are known,” he claimed.
“I am receiving death threats because I have investigated about our Zipra properties, and leading efforts to expose those that stole our properties after they were returned by
“Some people are panicking and it is obvious who is behind this because there are some very bigwigs in government and out of government who took some of those farms, either sold them,
leased them or are using them as their own.
“I have also received calls from people telling me that these people are planning to eliminate me physically…warning me that these people are experienced in these kind of things.”
Nkala was abducted from his home by armed people on November 5, 2001. He was taken away in a truck and later strangled to death.
His body was found in a shallow grave at Norwood farm near Solusi University on November 13.
Nkala had been charged in connection with the abduction and “disappearance” on June 19, 2000 of Nabanyama, the election agent for then MDC legislator David Coltart.