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Police Evict Resettled Soldiers in Mashonaland West

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Zimbabwean Soldiers

Zimbabwean Soldiers

Families of some members of the Zimbabwe National Army are living in the open in the Mapinga area of Mashonaland West province after they were evicted from properties allocated to them under the land reform program.

More than 30 families, mainly soldiers, who were resettled in the Mapinga area of Mashonaland West province say they now have nowhere to stay after they were reportedly evicted from their properties by armed police last week.

One of the victims, a soldier who refused to speak on tape citing professional reasons, told Studio 7 that armed police ordered them to leave allocated pieces of land last week on the pretext that government wanted to take over the land for undisclosed use.

Another evictee said his hut was razed to the ground, adding that one of his children failed to sit for some of his final Ordinary Level examinations due to the displacements. As a result, many of the affected soldiers, who doubled as new farmers, have resorted to taking their families to their camps such as Inkomo Barracks.

Studio 7 failed to get a comment from army spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore. Police spokesperson Charity Charamba’s phone went unanswered.

Meanwhile, MDCT shadow minister for agriculture, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, told Studio 7 that the evictions are a clear indication that the land reform programme started in 2000 was done in a haphazard manner.

Meanwhile, the Herald newspaper reports that the government is withdrawing all offer letters from farmers resettled under the A1 model with a view of replacing the offer letters with new documents.

Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister, Douglas Mombeshora, says no one will lose his property under this exercise.

But Nkomo said it is high time a proper land audit was conducted in order to flush out multiple farm owners and to ensure that the land was allocated to people who can fully utilize it for economic gain.

Some economists are blaming the fast-track land reform program, spearheaded by the Zanu PF government in 2000, for the country’s economic meltdown in the past 12 years.