Police evict land invaders

Police here have begun forcibly to evict dozens of self-styled war veterans occupying a white-owned farm, with one defiant group detained this week.

Officers set on fire the makeshift dwellings at Chikore Farm south of the Masvingo city, after ordering the more than 70 occupiers to remove their belongings and evacuate.

This has been the first serious move against the war veterans amid continuing farm invasions.

The police action was reportedly ordered by the co-ministers of Home Affairs ministers, Theresa Makone and Kembo Mohadi.

More than 4,000 farms have been invaded since President Robert Mugabe began the controversial land “reform” programme a decade ago.

"We have received instructions to be more strict with former fighters who refuse to obey government orders," a police officer who sought anonymity told reporters.

However, it was not clear how long the eviction process would continue or whether it would be extended across the country.

Those rounded up have been detained at Masvingo Remand Prison.

No action has yet been taken anywhere else, although a large number of the occupied farms are not on the official list for acquisition. Police have previously ignored several court orders to evict the squatters.

Informed sources say Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Stan Mudenge was also interested in the farm, previously owned by whiter commercial farmer, Peter Buchan. On Wednesday about 70 squatters were driven off the farm near Great Zimbabwe, a tourist resort about 20km from Masvingo amid spirited remonstrations.

The evictions continued on Thursday as police continued demolishing several makeshift homes in the vicinity of the farm.

In recent weeks, President Robert Mugabe has come under increasing pressure to restore law and order in farming districts, which are the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy.

Mugabe has said that war veterans will only be allowed to remain on those farms acquired by the government, ending the uncertainty in the rest of the agricultural sector.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *