Zanu-PF youths in Bulawayo have been forcibly taking over Indian and White owned buildings in the city, saying the move marks the start of a programme to empower unemployed blacks.
A number of buildings owned by Indians in Bulawayo that have been put up for sale include Princess Mansions, Kauffman Sons and Co, Cut Price centre, Mirage Centre, Bertha Court, Crazy Chair, Betsy Cotton and Baobab factories along Khami Road.
Hindu Society chairperson, Vijay Mheta, told Radio VOP that Indian businesspeople have been put under pressure by the ongoing Zanu-(PF) programme of grabbing businesses.
“I would like to think that this ongoing programme (of grabbing businesses) is putting under pressure members of our society to sell businesses.
“There has not been any protection from the police and it’s a serious cause for concern. A number of businesses owned by members of our society continue to be targeted,” the Hindu Society chairperson said.
Indians buildings that have been invaded by Zanu-(PF) youths include Zambesia and Canberra flats located between Leopold Takawira and Sixth Avenue and owned by the Laloo family.
The militant Zanu-PF youths have also grabbed the Capri which houses the Pizzaghetti owned by Di Palma family who are of Italian origin.
Recently, the youths blocked Khalil Gaibie, from evicting tenants from his Elons Court between 3rd Avenue and Main Street over late payment of rentals, adding that they have taken over the building.
Absolom Sikhosana, the Zanu-PF national youth chairman told Radio VOP that the party leadership has not sanctioned the takeover of Indian buildings.
“The programme of taking over buildings has not been sanctioned by the party leadership,” Sikhosana said.
Zanu-PF’s provincial chairman, Isaac Dakamela has also on numerous occasions voiced concern over the grabbing of businesses by the party’s local youths.
The party’s youths have however threatened to boot out Dakamela, accusing him of being a sellout and taking bribes from Indian businesspeople.