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Eviction of Families Resumes at Farm Linked to Grace Mugabe

  • Gibbs Dube
  • Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye

Members of a family stand next to their grass-hut dwelling which was destroyed by the police at Manzou Farm in Mazoe, north of Harare, in Zimbabwe.

First Lady Grace Mugabe is once again allegedly attempting to evict families occupying a farm in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central province, despite a court order blocking her from taking such action.

According to Moses Nkomo, a private attorney affiliated to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, evictions at Manzou or Arnold Farm started Tuesday and appear to be continuing.

“I have been seized with the letter involving the unlawful eviction of the Manzou or Arnold Farm residents and we have secured a number of interdicts against their unlawful eviction but the authorities don’t seem to be relenting. They keep on propagating their unlawful enterprise against the defenseless citizens.

“I did receive a call when the demolitions took place. About eight families were affected and what essentially has happened is that the Zimbabwe Republic Police Support Unit have set up a base in Arnold Farm they are terrorizing residents from that particular place … It has been quite for a while and I am told yesterday they started burning and tearing the plastic shacks that the residents are staying in.”

Nkomo said they have identified some of the people involved in the evictions.

“The good thing is that we have identified the individual perpetrators of that injustice and apart of pursuing contempt of court charges against them which has not been easy we are contemplating individual lawsuits in their individual capacities …”

He said they are now preparing lawsuits and would also take action against the officer in charge of Mazowe Police Station, who allegedly failed to take action as mandated by Zimbabwe’s constitution by refusing to stop the evictions.

Responding to a question on what action, if any, they would take against Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe linked to the evictions, Nkomo noted that in terms of the law there is no documentation indicating that the farm has been lawfully allocated to Mrs. Mugabe Mugabe and her family.

“We have challenged the Minister of Lands and Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora to produce evidence that the farm is being allocated and he has failed to do that. So, as far as we are concerned that land has not been allocated whether properly or improperly to the first lady. She may have interest in that particular piece of land but there is no documentation that she has a right to claim any occupation of that piece of land.”

The Mugabe family has three farms in the province – Gushungo Farm, Iron Mask Farm and Mazowe Citrus Estate they occupied in 2001.

Arnorld or Manzou Farm was owned by Anglo-American before it was invaded by villagers when the ruling Zanu PF party embarked on a land reform program targeting white commercial farms.

Almost 4,000 farmers lost their lucrative farms, which were occupied mainly by people linked to the ruling party.

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