High Court ruling shocks Shangani people

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CHIREDZI – The Shangani people are shocked by a High Court ruling that has given the Government green light to evict 12 000 villagers from Chilonga and pave way for a commercial agricultural venture.

Justice Joseph Mafusire threw out an application by Advocate Tendai Biti challenging Government’s move to make the evictions that will pave way for a Lucerne grass project by Dendairy.
The ruling was made on Thursday and a survey by The Mirror shows that the Shangani people are in a state of shock.

Biti was challenging Government Statutory Instrument (SI) 50 of 2021 to set aside 12 940 hectares of communal land for the Lucerne project.
The judgment runs against promises and assurances given by several senior politicians that there were going to be no evictions in Chilonga.
Chiredzi Rural District Council chairman Alderman Edward Matsilele who is one of those who made the promise refused to comment on the issue when called by The Mirror.
Matsilele said he was not feeling well and added that he had a lot of personal problems to take care of.
“There is nothing I can say to you for now. I have my own problems which are weighing me down,” said Matsilele to The Mirror.

Newly appointed Chief Chilonga born John Ben who was appointed last year said he needed more time to research on the issue before he responds to the Press.
Villagers who spoke to The Mirror declined to be named for fear of victimisation. They all expressed shock and panic at the judgment.

“It is painful that the Government cannot protect us in the land of our ancestors,” said one villager.
Vice President Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga also promised chiefs in Chiredzi that there will be no evictions.

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