Court reprieve for evicted families

The Chegutu Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday granted an order reversing the eviction of eight Chegutu families from a farm after they had protested against non-payment of their wages.

Felix Pambukani, who grabbed Wakefield Farm in Chegutu, Mashonaland West province during the chaotic land “reform” exercise teamed up with his family members, some plot holders in the surrounding farming area and other sympathetic farm workers to conduct the eviction without a valid court order. So violent was the eviction that four workers were hospitalised after sustaining injuries from being battered with truncheons by Pambukani and his associates. The evicted families were camping in the open along the Harare-Chegutu highway with their young children and possessions.

Kennedy Masiye from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights confirmed the latest development. “We have just obtained a court order and the families are going back to their houses at the farm. There were about 20 children while the majority of the people were women and they had no water or food supplies,” said Masiye.

With regard to the salaries of the workers, he said: “That issue will be discussed later on, because we had been focusing on the issue of the evictions which we felt was very urgent.”

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