Resettled farmers from Sikato in Masvingo face a bleak future after the government ordered them to vacate land they occupied in 2000 at the height of the Fast-track land resettlement programme.
About 1000 families have been served with seven-day eviction notices to move off the land by armed police officers and officials from the Ministry of Local Government.
The families are from seven villages namely, Muza, Chikutuva, Manunure, Makasva, Banga, Sithole and Marikutira.
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Some village heads were arrested for mobilising villagers to resist the eviction.
The eviction order, dated January 8, 2019, but stamped on November 13, 2018, and signed by Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement secretary Ringisai Chitsiko, read:
You are hereby given seven days to vacate Mzaro Farm, Masvingo province. You are violating section 3 of the Gazetted Lands (Consequential Provisions) Act Chapter 20:28; Gazetted Land Act in that you are occupying the said property without lawful authority.
You are hereby given an eviction notice and notice to vacate the property on or before January 15, 2019. Failure to vacate on or before this date will result in your arrest and prosecution.