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Families Evicted as Crackdown on Zimbabwe Opposition Continues

About 25 families were evicted from their homes in Harare’s Masasa section this week, according to sources who said the householders were locked out of their homes on Tuesday in a move allegedly connected to a crackdown on opposition members.

Since the lockout the families have been camping outside their homes in the so-called Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco complex, popularly known as Mukandabhutsu.

The Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco Company is a subsidiary of Universal Corporation, which is a major international player in leaf tobacco and also runs theme parks.

Sources said Deputy Agriculture Minister Sylvester Nguni recently purchased the housing development, in which some 1,500 families live, mainly opposition members. Nguni could not be reached to confirm his acquisition and the evictions.

One of those evicted was Columbus Lewizh, who told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he believes the evictions are politically motivated because the ruling party has little support in the Harare East district.

Harare East Parliamentarian Tendai Biti, who is secretary general of the Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change, said MDC lawyers will file papers in magistrate’s court Friday to challenge the evictions, which he says are political.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...