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5 Families in Farm Targeted by Grace Mugabe Get Alternative Land

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, Jan. 15, 2015.

Five families that were displaced after some wild animals were moved into a farm in Mashonaland Central province being targeted for a game park by Zimbabwe’s first lady, have been given alternative pieces of land.

Attorney Tonderai Bhatasara, a member lawyer of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who is representing the Arnold or Manzou Farm settlers, told VOA Studio 7 they are pushing the government to provide land for the rest of the 700 families.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management recently released 100 zebras into the farm, infuriating the villagers who were claiming that they are being forcibly removed by President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace.

Lawyers representing the settlers late last month filed papers at the High Court in an attempt to force government to remove the zebras from the farm. They also wanted the court to press charges of contempt of court against Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and trustees of national parks.

High Court judge, Erica Ndewere, had granted a provisional order halting the eviction of more the families at the farm without giving them offer letters for alternative land.

A conservation expert has put the figure to turn the agricultural farm into a game park at around $10 million.

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