25 Vic Falls villagers charged

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TWENTY-FIVE villagers from Woodlands Farm near Victoria Falls were yesterday arraigned before the Magistrates’ Court facing allegations of promoting public violence.

Nokuthaba Dlamini
Own correspondent

Grace Singarwe (50) and 24 others from Woodlands Farm appeared before the Victoria Falls resident magistrate Sharon Rosemani and pleaded guilty to “participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry”.

David Tivakudze told the court that on June 2 at around 11am the villagers converged at the Zimbabwe Republic Police station in Victoria Falls carrying placards airing their grievances and denouncing alleged “police corruption”.

Some of the placards read: “No corruption to ZimAsset. We got Woodlands Farm from the government not from court orders and summons. Bulawayo High Court and Victoria Falls police you support corruption.”

Another read: “Tendai Musasa is poaching at Woodlands and has no relevant documents to hunt, arrest him because he is causing division and unrest.

“We want this poaching to be stopped otherwise we are going for the fourth Chimurenga.”

The villagers were arrested at the charge office but were later arrested.

Rosemani remanded them to June 6 on condition those below 50 years paid a bail of $50 each while 12 villagers above the age of 50 were given free bail.

The villagers are embroiled in a dispute with Musasa over the control of Woodlands Farm, which is described as a rich wildlife sanctuary.

Musasa is accused of trying to push the villagers out from the farm. The case was heard at the High Court on Tuesday.