MDC Alliance, UK and Ireland Spokesperson Patricia Chinyoka said the displacement of Chilonga villagers in Chiredzi for a dairy farmer, Darren Coetzee, should not be allowed to happen.
In a statement, Chinyoka said the people of Chilonga have lived there for a very long time and cannot be evicted from their ancestral land and homes.
A Masvingo magistrate on Friday temporarily stopped the eviction, but Chinyoka believes the ruling Zanu PF party will use its power to override the decision. She said:
The Zimbabwe government is evicting thousands of people from an indigenous minority group from their communal land, The order affects more than 13,000 people of the Shangani minority.
On February 26, 2021, the Local Government, Urban and Rural Development Minister, July Moyo, published a legal notice ordering thousands of people occupying approximately 12,940 hectares of Chilonga communal land in Chiredzi, southeastern Zimbabwe, to leave immediately unless they acquire fresh rights of use or occupation to that land.
The legal notice, Statutory Instrument 50 of 2021, said the land was being set aside for lucerne grass production – farming grass for stockfeed.
The land is being handed over to Mr Darren Coetzee, owner of Dendairy, who plans to use the land for his cow grazing project.
This is totally unacceptable, the people of Chilonga have lived there for a very long time and cannot be evicted from their land and homes.