Christmas Farm invaders arrested

arrestGWERU - Police here have arrested seven war veterans and officials of the MDC 99 who led the invasion of Christmas Gift Farm early this month. Those who were arrested include Robson Mugwagwa, who is the MDC-99 Midlands South youth information officer.

Midlands police spokesperson, Inspector Patrick Chademana, confirmed the arrests but could not be drawn to give further details.

The suspects were picked up for questioning. Police investigations are under way, he said.

About 2 000 people, mostly war veterans and MDC-99 activists, moved onto the farm along the Gweru-Harare Road some three weeks ago and started allocating themselves stands. The invaders were addressed by the Midlands Governor, Jason Machaya, together with the Officer Commanding Police in the Midlands, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charles Makono, who told them that their action was illegal and that they should move out or risk arrest.

Sources say the arrested war veterans and MDC 99 officials who led the invasions defrauded more than 2 000 unsuspecting land-seekers by making them pay between US$10 and US$15 as logistics and administration fees to facilitate the allocation of land to them.

The land-seekers were also allegedly asked to pay an additional US$10 in legal fees, which is supposed to be used to engage a lawyer to fight the eviction of the land invaders.

Sources said the arrested land invaders were also threatening some farm invaders who had not paid the fees they were demanding. Some of the residents who were allocated stands at the farm confirmed yesterday that a number of them had paid the fees, while others are refusing as they are suspicious of the whole issue.

Post published in: Politics

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