The war veterans, including an 80-year-old man, pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case. Mzinyathi cleared them because, he said, the State had failed to establish beyond doubt that one of the 10 was directly involved in beating Mufaro Mukaro, whom they accused of under-using his farm and of having gained it under dubious circumstances.
It is alleged that the 10 and other ordinary villagers invaded black-owned farms in Masvingo East and started dishing out plots amongst themselves.
Mukaro was beaten with knobkerries, stones and others objects while the invasions were going on. He was taken to Masvingo general hospital where he spent several weeks in intensive care.
Meanwhile tension remains high in Masvingo East with property owners pushing government to evict illegal farm invaders from their land. The farm occupiers are resisting eviction, arguing that they were the ones who occupied the properties during the height of the farm invasion programme.
The Masvingo provincial land committee has since resolved to relocate some of the farm invaders to Mwenezi district before the beginning of the rainy season.Post published in: News