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Outcry over inhumane evictions

The latest wave of farm evictions targeting land reform beneficiaries that began in Masvingo are now spreading across the country.

GOVERNMENT has been criticised for carrying out inhumane mass evictions in Masvingo and Chiredzi, among other areas, leaving families homeless.

The latest wave of farm evictions targeting land reform beneficiaries that began in Masvingo are now spreading across the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently warned local and urban councils that all agricultural land belongs to his office.

Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary-general, Mbuso Fuzwayo, said they received distress calls from victims in Masvingo.

“Thousands of Zimbabwean sons and daughters have been left homeless and their investments, fruits of their toil and sweat in this difficult economy, have been destroyed,” Fuzwayo said.

“This is very much disturbing, these are indigenous black Zimbabweans, that either themselves or their parents fought for the land and clearly understood that the liberation struggle was about the land, now they are being dispossessed by a black government suspected to be accommodating foreign interest and their cronies commonly referred to as chefs.”

He said every Zimbabwean has the right to shelter as he rallied Zimbabweans to unite against the unjust evictions.

“Our people are betrayed. It is time that the masses must realise that none but themselves will liberate themselves, that the basic tenet of the political struggle was justice,” he said.

A human rights advocate Effie Ncube said the government should provide alternative accommodation to the victims.

“It's high time this is stopped and the rule of law is enforced. Where necessary to do evictions, it must be done through court orders and the rights of those to be evicted must be assured under all circumstances,“ Ncube said.

“Alternative accommodation should be arranged before eviction and no one should be left stranded under the elements of punishing weather conditions. We do not want to see another Murambatsvina.”

Outspoken Zipra war veteran Max Mkandla said the evictions were a tacit admission of the illegalities surrounding the land reform programme.

“When these people invaded the land, they grabbed it without any documentation and this was because of the previous government led by late Robert Mugabe,” Mnkandla said.

“This is the second republic and it is trying to correct what was done wrongly. As a result I stand with the government and support its effort to put everything in a proper manner. There was no point in grabbing the farms,” he said.

Zapu Bulawayo provincial secretary Vivian Siziba echoed similar sentiments.

“The land reform saw the emergency of land barons all over the show. Land barons and self-styled village heads solicited for bribes from land seekers who willingly parted with their hard-earned cash to be resettled illegally leading to overcrowding in those areas,” Siziba said.

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