By Decide Nhendo
A group of 66 people including elderly men and women have appeared before Masvingo Magistrate Court facing charges of settling within prohibited land at Zero Farm near Nemamwa Growth Point.
All 66 inhabitants who were staying at Zero Farm in Nemanwa under Chief Mugabe appeared before Masvingo Magistrate Farai Gwitima who remanded them out of custody waiting for judgement on February 13.
The victims complained that they had nowhere to go if evicted from their current residents, and do not have resources to start afresh.
“I am troubled because of the ongoing eviction issues, my blood pressure is always high and have never been settled since this operation started.
“I do not have any idea of where to go if we are removed from Zero farm,” said one victim
Another resident said he started to live at the farm from as early as 2000 it was now hard for them to leave their relative’s graves and also said they do not have resources if they are forced out of the farm.
“We started living in Zero during the land reform program in 2000s, and my deceased relatives are lying in their graves, even if they say we are to depart from Zero farm it is difficult for me because I do not have money or resources to construct another homestead,” said the resident.
Appearing in court Masvingo Provincial Lands Officer Takunda Chikura said this is the third time government is evicting illegal settlers from Nemanwa’s Zero Farm as the land belongs to the state.
“The land in question belongs to the state and the government has been evicting people from this land from 1970, the second time being in 1980, and now in 2024 where the government is contacting “Operation Order No to Land Barons” to bring sanity to communal lands,” Chikura said.
Government is toiling to stop land barons and people who are illegally selling or illegally settling living in communal lands around the country.
The victims are being accused of settling in wetlands, grazing lands among other areas, and more than 1000 people have been arrested in the province and more than 200 have been convicted.
Tarisai Muvengi prosecuted.