HomePolitics31 A2 farmers charged for demo against Zanu PF heavyweight

31 A2 farmers charged for demo against Zanu PF heavyweight

Clemence Manyukwe

MORE than 30 farmers under the A2 scheme were last week charged under the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) by Mashonaland West police after they st

aged a demonstration against Zanu PF central committee member Jamaya Muduuri.

The 31 farmers accused Muduuri of engineering their eviction from Impalasvale on allegations that they were underutilising the land.

The group of farmers, who were detained for two days at Battlefields police station for contravening a section of Posa by not seeking police clearance before the demonstration, will be notified of a date to appear in court by way of summons.

Mashonaland West governor Nelson Samkange last week told the Zimbabwe Independent that a recommendation had been sent to the National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement ministry through him that some of the farmers be removed from the property on allegations of underutilising land and vandalising irrigation equipment.

Samkange said the farmers had blocked the road leading to Muduuri’s property.

But in interviews this week the farmers who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation denied the charges.

They said the reason for the impending eviction was to facilitate the expansion of Muduuri’s portion of the farm, which forms part of Impalasvale.

“We saw a communication at the DA’s office in which the DA was saying there was no land for 15 of us who were to be removed to pave way for Muduuri,” one of the farmers said.

“The central committee member is behind the plot to evict us, not these false allegations about not utilising the land.”

Another farmer said the governor had been misled on developments at the farm, as he had not visited the area to see for himself.

On Wednesday Muduuri said it was not true that he was to blame for the farmers’ woes, saying he could also end up being affected in the event that government decided that some people should lose their land.

“The replanning is not done by me. Government does it,” Muduuri said.

“As to why they demonstrated against me, I do not know. I suspect they were relying on lies someone told them,” he said.

If the Lands ministry adopts a recommendation that the farmers’ properties be taken, they would become illegal occupiers of the land, something that was outlawed by the signing into law of the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Bill by President Mugabe two weeks ago.

The latest legislation repeals the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act (No 13 of 2001) whose provisions the gazetted Act says have “become redundant because they do not apply to state land”.

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