CHIPINGE – Fifty families evicted and living in the open for the past five weeks have returned to their burnt down homesteads at Annex Farm in Chipinge after Advocate Lovemore Madhuku discovered that the court order used to evict them only covered seven people.
Madhuku discovered the fault after taking over the families’ eviction case two weeks ago and going through the court records.
Madhuku told Chipinge Times that there was an eviction order issued in default against seven people and this was then illegally used to evict 362 people from the 50 households. Madhuku then told the families to go back and retake occupancy of their homesteads because the order is not valid.
The families were evicted on the instigation of Colonel Makuyana who is running the farm together with three directors of a company called Joubert Private Limited. Their homesteads were burnt down by Police and they allegedly lost food, blankets and clothes during the process.
Madhuku said he is challenging the court order.
“There was default judgment which only applied to about seven people and yet hundreds of people got evicted and such an order is invalid. They went back to stay at the farm on the basis that the order is being challenged,” said Madhuku.
He said that some of the people who returned to the farm were arrested by the Police on allegations of breach of peace and they are appearing in court on November 3, 2020. Madhuku is going to represent them in the case.
The evicted families initially stayed by the roadside in a bush before they moved to Chiriga Business Centre where they endured cold weather and rain together with young children and babies while staying in the open.
One of the evicted persons who talked to Chipinge Times appealed for tents to pitch at their homesteads since the buildings were gutted down by fire.
Chipinge District is currently grappling with serious land wrangles including numerous eviction cases that are either in the courts or being handled politically.
The Minister of State for Manicaland was summoned to Parliament this week where she appeared before the Lands Committee and was grilled over land invasions. She was particularly asked to answer to a case involving her son who took over a white farmer’s land. https://masvingomirror.com