Farm invasions leader charged

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A WAR VETERAN and Zanu PF member has been charged with inciting villagers to occupy 10 farms in Masvingo from 2011 as the government makes a major policy climbdown on property rights in a bid to woo sceptical investors.

TATENDA CHITAGU
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Rueben Chikono (55) was on Wednesday summoned to appear at the Masvingo Magistrates’ Court to answer a charge of incitement as defined in Section 187 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Chikono was remanded to June 17 after the State, represented by Taonga Musina, said it needed more time to get some documentation to be used in the case.

According to the State outline, charges against Chikono stemmed from November 2011 to date during which he is being accused of allegedly inciting Tichaona Calvin Mawisire, Willy Nigel and Harrison Tapera and other illegal settlers to occupy the 10 farms in Masvingo East.

The farms, which are listed as State land, are Salemore, Sundowns, Chevden, Arksden, Menabilly, Doornfontein, Makwari, Kemmington, Vlacksfontein and Nhenga. Chikono is accused of encouraging the villagers to trespass into the said farms.

According to the outline, in July 2012 Chikono also sought a peace order at the Masvingo Civil Court against the farm owners to stop harassing, threatening or burning his subjects’ belongings.

The farm owners are not listed in court papers although they are believed to have been under black ownership by then.

The villagers are still occupying the farms.