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Harare Magistrate Refuses To Intervene In Alleged Political Evictions

A Harare magistrate has declined to overturn an eviction order issued to 25 families turned out of their homes last week, allegedly on political grounds.

Lawyers for the families said the magistrate ruled that if the families were allowed to move back into the houses in Harare's Masasa district, it would in effect set aside the certificate of ejection which the present landlord obtained from the courts.

The residential property, previously owned by the Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco Company, was purchased by Deputy Agriculture Minister Sylvester Nguni, sources said.

The evicted families, who were still camped outside their former homes, say they have been victimized because they support the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Sources said policemen have taken over their homes.

Official Alexio Maphosa of the Combined Harare Residents Association told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Nguni visited the complex last week and provided confirmation that the evictions were political.

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