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Zimbabwe Family Members Stage Sit in Over Housing Evictions

  • Loirdham Moyo

About 12 family members from Odzi’s ARDA Transau, who were moved from Chiadzwa communal area in Manicaland province in 2010, and were served with eviction orders to vacate houses they occupied meant for school teachers on Monday camped at the Mutare district administrator’s office.

They are protesting against the court order, vowing that they will not leave until their demands are met.

The Philemon Johwani Kambeni family allegedly seized teachers’ houses after failing to secure adequate houses for their huge family of 14 women and over 35 children. They are part of more than a dozen individuals who camping outside the district administrator’s office.

Kambeni told VOA Studio 7 they will not leave until their grievances are met by local government officials.

"We came here to the DA, they are the ones who moved us, they destroyed our house ... we have been waiting five years coming here hearing all the time 'we will give you housing," said Kambeni.

Another villager camping outside the district administrator’s office is Elizabeth Gamera, who was summoned to appear before the local courts for illegally occupying teachers’ houses.

"We will leave here once we have our houses that were destroyed. That's what we want from the DA. As a Zimbabwean we deserve proper housing, clean water. It's eight years now. I am a suffering woman. Where should I go?"

District administrator, Cosmas Chiringa, said senior state officials are well aware of the plight of the villagers, who were displaced when anjin investments of China took over their land to mine alluvial diamonds.

Chiringa said his office has in the past tried to assist the Kambeni family, which kept on identifying various pieces of land instead of taking what was being offered by government.

More than 1,000 villagers were displaced when Anjin, Mbada Diamonds and Diamond Mining Company started mining diamonds in Manicaland Province a couple of years ago.

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