66 Individuals Face Charges For Occupying Prohibited Land At Zero Farm In Masvingo
Sixty-six people, comprising elderly men and women, stood before the Masvingo Magistrate Court, accused of unlawfully occupying land at Zero Farm near Nemamwa Growth Point.
All 66 residents, who had been staying at Zero Farm under Chief Mugabe in Nemamwa, appeared before Masvingo Magistrate Farai Gwitima. They were remanded out of custody awaiting judgment on February 13.
The residents expressed their concerns, stating that they had nowhere else to go if evicted from their current residences and lacked the resources to start anew.
“I am troubled by the ongoing eviction issues; my blood pressure is always high, and I have never been settled since this operation started. I do not have any idea where to go if we are removed from Zero Farm,” said one resident.
Another resident mentioned that they had been living at the farm since as early as 2000, making it difficult for them to leave their relatives’ graves. Additionally, they stated they lacked the financial means to construct another homestead if forced out of the farm.
Masvingo Provincial Lands Officer Takunda Chikura, appearing in court, clarified that this was the third time the government had evicted illegal settlers from Zero Farm in Nemanwa, as the land belonged to the state. Chikura explained that the government was enforcing “Operation Order No to Land Barons” to bring order to communal lands.
The government is actively working to curb the activities of land barons and individuals illegally occupying or selling communal lands across the country. Many individuals have been arrested and convicted in Masvingo Province for settling in wetlands, grazing lands, and other restricted areas. Tarisai Muvengi prosecuted the case.