Friday, April 26, 2019

Govt evicts settlers after 19 years, calls them squatters

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The government has ordered 20 families to vacate Mapinga Extension Farm near the Great Dyke pass.

20 of the 52 families at Mapinga farm have been issued with eviction notices signed by the Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Mr Ringson Chitsiko.

The letters bear varying dates by which the settlers have to vacate the land, depending on when each individual family’s eviction notice was signed.

They have each been given three months by which to vacate the farm, with some having settled there since 2000.

The reasons cited for the eviction is that the settlers are occupying the land without authority.

The eviction notice indicates, and i quote; “You are violating section 3 of the Gazzetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act in that you are occupying the said property without lawful authority” close quote.

The affected farmers are part of 52 in occupation of the said farm. They contend no bonafide farmer has tenure documents for the property and that since they have been at the farm for

the past 19 years they should be given a reprieve and have their occupation regularised. In a telephone interview, Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Honourable Mary Mliswa said the issue will be looked at on a case by case basis with those deserving to be resettled set to be relocated elsewhere.

Minister Mliswa added that the move is in line with government policy to get rid of squatters from farms.