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D-day for Karoi illegal land occupiers

Wonder Nhope, a land estates officer at Hurungwe District Lands Office is the complainant in the case.

TWENTY-FOUR villagers who were arrested a fortnight ago after allegedly settling illegally on Lazy Five Farm in Karoi, Mashonaland West province will know their fate when a magistrate delivers a sentence today. 

The villagers were arrested on January 15 this year and were taken to court where they were remanded in custody.Wonder Nhope, a land estates officer at Hurungwe District Lands Office is the complainant in the case.

According to the State represented by prosecutor Sheppard Hokoma, the villagers resettled on the farm around 2004 without offer letters.

“During the period extending from sometime in 2004 up to date, all accused persons without any offer letter, lease, or permit from the Ministry of Lands or without any other lawful authority occupied Lazy Five Farm, Karoi which is a gazetted land.

“Lazy Five Farm, Karoi is a gazetted land in Hurungwe which was allocated to 88 A1 plot holders sometime in 2002 and they basically acquired their offer letters,” read the charge sheet.

According to the allegations, officers from the Hurungwe Lands Office visited Lazy Five Farm on January 10 this year to verify land ownership and established that there were about 180 illegal settlers on the farm.

The officers reported the case to ZRP Karoi Rural and a district operation to arrest the illegal settlers was initiated leading to their arrest.

Brett Seth Ruchike of Saizi Law Chambers is representing the villagers.

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