Local Government Minister July Moyo has reportedly ordered thousands of villages in a certain area in Hwange to vacate the area by year-end to pave way for the Hwange Town expansion project, New Zimbabwe reports.
The villagers from Jembwe, Kasikili Jabula and Kanywambizi were ordered to permanently vacate their homes through a statutory instrument which reads in part:
Any person using or occupying the land specified in the schedule otherwise than by virtue of a right held in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05) is ordered to depart permanently with all his or her property from the said land by the 31st August of December 2020
Under the directive, only those who acquire the rights of use or occupation to the said land in terms of section 9 (1) the Communal Land Act Chapter (20:04) will be spared.
Meanwhile, CNRG media liaison officer, Simiso Mlevu speaking to the publication said the evictions were illegal and the government does not respect property rights. Said Mlevu:
History has shown that our government does not value property rights because people who were moved from Marange to Arda Transau have not been compensated to date. They do not even have land for subsistence farming
What it means is that due to the Communal Lands Act, rural communities will exist as stateless citizens with no rights to where they live. We ask, how different is this administration from colonial authorities when it comes to protecting the citizens.
Details of alternative land being offered to the affected villagers or compensation for being evicted from their ancestral lands were not specified in the SI.
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