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Relief for 16 evicted villagers

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Relief for 16 evicted villagers

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SIMBA MTEMBO
MIRROR REPORTER

MASVINGO – Sixteen villagers ordered to vacate Manyama area under Chief Nemamwa within seven days breathed a sigh of relief when Masvingo Magistrates Court granted them a stay of eviction until their appeal against both conviction and sentence is heard at the High Court.
The stay of eviction was granted by Magistrate Jawona at Masvingo Provincial Magistrates Court this week.
Some of the 16 had stayed at their current homes for 42 years. They are being represented by Philip Shumba of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners and they made their appeal at the High Court in Masvingo on Tuesday before filing their stay of execution papers at Masvingo Magistrates Court. Getrude Hove, Lindiwe Chihuri Stephen Mufundikwa and 13 others are among thousands of people who are being evicted by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,Fisheries, Water and Rural Development. throughout the country under an operation called Order No to Land Barons.
The accused were arrested for settling on gazetted State land without the necessary documents.
The lawyers argued in the appeal papers that the magistrate erred in both conviction and sentence because there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the land cited by the State was never gazetted. They also argue that the magistrate misdirected himself by failing to attend to constitutional issues raised by the appellants. Shumba further argues even if the magistrate did not err on the above two issues the seven days’ notice given is too unreasonable for people who have stayed and developed the place for 42 years.

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