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Gokwe families rendered homeless
Mhlanga, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
September 08, 2012
More than 70
families, who illegally occupied Farm 27 in Chemagora area in Midlands
province eight years ago, were last week evicted by armed police
who razed some of their huts to the ground.
are now camped by the roadside and their children have since stopped
Webster Madobi, who was also part of the evictees, said the people
were evicted only a month after they voted Zanu-PF into power.
won by President Robert Mugabe, were held on July 31.
used because these politicians came here soliciting for our votes
and even had a polling station on this farm but now we are being
evicted,” he said.
he had moved with his people onto the farm following pronouncements
by Mugabe that all Zimbabweans should have access to land.
gave us this land, we moved in with our families and settled here
after President Mugabe told us that all Zimbabweans should have
land,” he continued. “This was a bush and we came here
and made it our home.”
were on the strength of a November 2012, magistrates’ court
order granted to farm owner, Farai Magadzire, who accused the families
of illegally occupying his land.
papers at the Kwekwe magistrates’ courts, the villagers had
threatened to burn the deputy sheriff’s vehicle before he
was forced to retreat together with police officers who had accompanied
him,” reads part of the court papers.
jeered at them, as they went back.”
then returned and arrested 24 of the settlers, who have since appeared
in court, facing trespass and contempt of court charges.
Taurai Manwere last week found the 24 guilty of trespassing and
building illegal structures on the farm.
They were each
John Fire Gumbo
(72), an ex-political detainee, who was also evicted from the farm,
said he was angry that he was rendered homeless soon after voting
Zanu-PF, which championed the land reform programme into power.
“We voted for Zanu-PF because they made a promise that everyone
should have access to land but now we are being thrown out and forced
to stay in the open like animals,” he said.
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