Courts stop Zim First Lady’s eviction of villagers

CourtsFrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE High Court Judge has interdicted Zimbabwe government authorities from harassing villagers at a farm powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe wants to turn into a game park.
Judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta ordered lands and resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora, home affairs minister, Ignatius Chombo, and police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, to immediately stop demolishing villagers’ homesteads and evicting them.
Villagers enlisted the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to file a court application to stop the brutality by the police at Arnold Farm in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central Province. Villagers have occupied for 17 years.
Government were authorised them to settle in 2000 at the height of the violent government-backed fast track land reform programme.
Their woes started in 2015 when President Robert Mugabe’s discordant wife, who owns vast tracts of land, eyed the property to set up a game park.
Police have been forcing the villagers out in defiance of a court order given in 2015.
In the urgent chamber application, villagers bemoaned police actions while they had been rendered homeless and their children’s education jeopardized.
Courts ruled police officers and officials from the ministry of lands and rural resettlement contravened villagers’ rights from arbitrary eviction and rights to privacy, property and administrative justice.
This is the second time Zimbabwean authorities have been ordered by the High Court to stop harassing, demolishing homesteads and evicting the Mazowe villagers.
Another plan to evict the villagers to pave way for the First Lady’s park project was ruled illegal in 2015. Ms Mugabe, who is believed to have presidential ambitions, has defied court orders to return properties he has forcibly taken over from a Lebanese dealer after a diamond ring deal went sour.

CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=18954

Posted by on Mar 27 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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