Villagers at Tshayile area in Bubi, Matabeleland North province face eviction to pave way for Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who reportedly wants to construct his homestead on top of a mountain that lies on their land.
A number of villagers staged a demonstration yesterday in Tshayile area, Ward 10 of Bubi constituency, protesting against the plans to take their land at Shilloh Farm, adjacent to Mphoko’s Mdlawuzo Farm. A portion of Mdlawuzo Mountain lies in Mphoko’s Farm, while the remainder falls under Shilloh Farm, where the villagers were resettled in 2000 during the land reform exercise.
Mphoko’s farm is in Umguza district, while Tshayile Farm is in Bubi and the land in dispute is along the two districts’ borders. According to the villagers, Mphoko’s plans to expand his property to 2 000 hectares beyond his boundary will see them losing Tshayile Primary School, farming and grazing lands, the sole borehole and nutritional garden funded under the Australian Direct Aid Programme. The villager have vowed to seek financial assistance to fight Mphoko at the courts to stop their eviction foolowing unsuccessful attempts to do so diplomatically.