Mugabe Lackey Invades Harare House
The so-called leader of the War Veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war of the 1970s (although he actually never went to war and is not a real Veteran), Joseph Chinotimba, has invaded a house in Harare and is refusing to leave. The house belongs to Harare City Council, which has taken Chinotimba to court, but witnesses have mysteriously disappeared, leading to the case being struck off the roll
Harare, Zimbabwe, 04 December 2009
The self-styled Commander of Farm Invasions, Joseph Chinotimba, who is also a leader of the Mugabe-supporting War Veterans' Association of Zimbabwe, is refusing to vacate a suburban house in Harare that he has been occupying for years now.
The house, in Belvedere, was occupied by Chinotimba in May 2006, when ZANU PF still had some clout at the Harare City Council. The home belongs to the Council and was given to Chinotimba on the basis of a "verbal contract".
With the MDC-Tsvangirai now controlling Council, they are seeking to evict Chinotimba from the Council House and they had given him notice to vacate the building by end of September 2008.
Chinotimba defied the eviction order and has now been hauled before the courts.
But, in true ZANU PF style, all the witnesses lined up by the Council in their case against Chinotimba failed to show up in court, leading to the case being struck off the roll, which means the process of filing papers will have to start from scratch. Even then, the witnesses will almost certainly not show up again.
Chinotimba, on the other hand, is disputing the eviction order before the courts and says that the Council has been ordered by Local Government Minister and Mugabe home-boy, Ignatious Chombo, to sell the house to Chinotimba instead.
"The Minister of Local Government had recommended that the Council should sell the property to the defendant as the sitting tenant, which recommendation, has not been acted upon, despite the defendant’s request," Chinotimba says in his opposing papers before the courts.
Chinotimba also dares the Council to go to Zimbabwe's rent Board if they want to evict him, so that they get an eviction certificate from them. He knows full well how things like that go. The Rent Board is ineffective and is generally shunned by both landlords and tenants in matters such as these.
The upshot is that Chinotimba has effectively invaded a house in Harare and is refusing to vacate it, relying on the backing of the Minister of Local Government, a ZANU PF dyed-in-the-wool hardliner, to keep him safe.
Witnesses who failed to show up have likely been intimidated or paid off and since they get nothing from the Council for testifying against Chinotimba, it is unlikely that they will ever end up in court speaking out against the war Veteran.
Chinotimba was a security guard for the Harare City Council before he appointed himself commander of farm invasions. From that lowly position, he now lives a lavish lifestyle, drives a Jeep Cherokee and claims that he is making bundles of money through his "businesses". Some of these businesses are Security companies that intimidate companies into engaging them to "protect" their properties.
A couple of months back, he got the Deputy Minister of Youth, an MDC-T appointee, arrested, saying the man had stolen his cellphone at a conference in Harare. The Deputy Minister was subsequently acquitted by the courts.
All this really shows the mentality that still exists in ZANU PF. They believe that they can get away with literally anything and it is safe bet to say that Chinotimba will not be leaving the house any time soon.