Illegal settlers face eviction

18 000 farmers face eviction

The Herald – Midlands Bureau

3rd May 2016

18 000 farmers face eviction: Government has issued 18 000 families with eviction notices after they allegedly occupied a number of farms in the Midlands province without the approval of the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.

Some of the prospective farmers were allegedly illegally resettled by some chiefs and headmen in the province.

Midlands provincial lands officer Ms Kudzai Katiyo told our Bulawayo Bureau on Thursday that more than 18 000 illegal settlers were supposed to vacate some farms as a matter of urgency.

“We have about 18 000 illegally resettled people who are supposed to be moved from the farms they are occupying. We have started serving the illegal settlers with eviction notices,” she said.

Ms Katiyo said Chief Nhema of Shurugwi had illegally resettled people in Linslade, Hashu and Albany farms in Chirumhanzu in August 2013.

Ms Katiyo said the chief then went on to write a letter asking the Lands Ministry to formalise the resettlement, arguing that the farms fell under his jurisdiction.

The provincial lands officer said the land in question, however, fell under the jurisdiction of the Gweru Lands Committee.

“Chief Nhema illegally resettled people and they are supposed to be moved. Zvishavane has 234 illegal settlers, Gweru 900, Gokwe South 1 000, Gokwe North 2 000, Shurugwi 10 000, Mberengwa 2 700 and Kwekwe 500 among other illegal settlers in the province,” she said.