2 300 illegal settlers face eviction

CHIEF Jahana of Insiza district has threatened to evict more than 2 300 illegal settlers from his area by July 1 accusing them of buying land from corrupt Zanu PF leaders.

BY PRIVILEGE SHOKO

The villagers are now calling for the government to intervene and stop their evictions.

The affected villagers are from Lochard Farm, Charlotte and Kombo area.

According to sources, Chief Jahana threatened the villagers saying he would call the police to destroy their houses if they refused to vacate the area.

A villager from Lochard Farm who declined to be named said Chief Jahana should stand for the people rather than trouble them.

“Chief Jahana told us that he did not care about how we settled and what we have already built, but we should vacate the area by the end of next month,” the villager said.

“We did not commit any crime and we were settled here not knowing that the leaders were benefiting.”

The villager warned of violence if the government did not intervene.

“If the government does not address the situation, this might lead to war because we fought for this land and they are now acting like whites,” said the villager “We thought that the issue had been solved, but the situation is now getting worse and we don’t have anywhere to go.”
Another villager said if they were to be evicted, they had no money to build other houses.

“We built these houses through hard-earned money. Where will we get the money to rebuild the houses again.

This decision is just inhumane,” said the villager.

The villager accused the traditional leader of corruption saying he wanted to settle his own people.

“Chief Jahana told us that he had relatives in Tsholotsho who had no land and were facing drought, and we should vacate so that he settles those people,” said the villager.

Efforts to get comment from Chief Jahana were fruitless, but in a recent meeting he reportedly asked the villagers to vacate peacefully as they settled illegally.

“It is very sad.

I am still disappointed and ashamed of what you did.

How can the carrying capacity double? If you can’t stay in this area, can you kindly vacate in peace,” Chief Jahana was quoted saying.

Insiza district lands officer Mackains Dube reportedly said his office settled 1 054 people while 2 332 were illegally settled.

Four non-existent villages were created for 722 families.

The government reportedly set up a team to investigate the land scandal involving Zanu PF officials who allegedly created unregistered villages and imposed 17 village heads who illegally sold the land to desperate villagers.

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