CHIPINGE – Some 750 families from Munyokowere Village, in Chipangayi area, Middle Sabi in Chipinge who were given 10 days to vacate the land that they currently occupy have filed an urgent High Court application to stop the move.
Allan Murozvi, a local governance practitioner accused well connected and powerful civil servants of acting in cahoots with each other to push out the villagers so that they can take over the land and parcel it out to themselves.
The families received eviction orders from the then Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Water Climate and Rural Resettlement Ringson Chitsiko on April 29, 2019 because they allegedly occupied it without lawful authority.
Chitsiko said at the time that the villagers occupied the land in violation of Section 3 of the Constitution of the Gazetted Lands Act Chapter 20:28, no action was taken on them until last week on Thursday (July 16) when The District Development Coordinator Willim Mashava, Chipinge Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer, Blessing Mamvosha members of ZRP and ZNA visited them and gave the verbal order to leave within 10 days.
The Mirror is in possession of the application made at the High Court in Mutare where the defendants are accusing respondents of trying to carry out the eviction without a court order.
The affected families represented by Tariro Tazvitya of Bere and Brothers also argued that if evicted they have nowhere to go and their situation will be worsened by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The villagers are being supported by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
“The wave of arbitrary evictions in Chipinge District are motivated by connected individuals using the power of capital to satisfy their land hunger and public officials are at the center of the move using public power that hampers public interests,” said Murozvi.
One of the villagers, who is an applicant in the matter, Hardlife Hlakama spoke to The Mirror in an interview.
“We have nowhere to go if we get evicted and more so evicting us during the COVID-19 pandemic exposes us to the threat of the pandemic. The respondents have no court order that sanctions the intended eviction and demolitions,” said Hlakama.
The respondents are Chipinge RDC, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Minister of Defense and War Veterans and Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.https://masvingomirror.com