United Kingdom-based law lecturer, Alex Tawanda Magaisa has said social media protests and legal challenges helped in stopping Chilonga evictions. The government had earmarked the land for Dendairy’s lucerne grass project. A recent Statutory Instrument, however, repeals the earlier one which legalised the evictions. The latest SI was issued after social media was flooded with protests against Chilonga evictions.
Below is Magaisa’s Twitter thread.
Land & a bungling regime: a Short Story
It started with SI50/2021 issued on 26 Feb 2021. The decree sought to remove the Chilonga community from their ancestral lands to make way for DenDairy to grow grass for its cows. It promoted heavy resistance such as #boycottdendairy
A week later, government issued another decree, SI63A/2021. It changed the purpose of setting aside the land to “establishing an irrigation scheme” but retained the clause forcing the Chilonga community to depart permanently. We covered it in the BSR showing the illegalities. On 16 March Government issued SI72A/2021, this time repealing the initial decree and removing the clause forcing the Chilonga community to depart permanently from their land. This is a big reversal of an unjust and arbitrary policy that disrespected citizens’ rights.Why is this significant? It matters because the government has been forced into a reversal of an unjust policy. If it hadn’t been challenged, it was going to remove the Chilonga community. The revelation of cronyism, the legal challenges & social media protests helped.