Villagers Demand US$850 Compensation for Lost Property

SIXTEEN villagers from Nyanga District, Manicaland, have approached the courts seeking to recover their property allegedly looted by Zanu PF supporters in the countdown to last year’s bloody presidential election run-off campaign.


The complainants –– who hail from Mutandiko, Koromora, Jani, Chikata, Gohoto, Chibvembe and Renzva villages –– want an order from the Nyanga Magistrates’ Courts compelling the suspected Zanu PF activists to return their possessions, among them maize, sorghum, guinea fowls, cattle, goats, chickens, ploughing chains and groundnuts.

In the event that the suspects fail to return the assets, the villagers want a total of US$853 as compensation.

The villagers are represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

In court case number 46/09, villagers Eddison Njanji, Calebo Chikata, Leonard Mugambiwa, Timothy Kamuruko and Jamiya Mubaya alleged that after the peaceful March 29 2008 harmonised polls, Zanu PF supporters illegally, unlawfully and forcefully took their property from their homes.

This, the villagers allege, took place in the rundown to the run-off pitting President Robert Mugabe and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the race citing violence, but the election went ahead and Mugabe was declared winner after polling 85% of the votes in the one-man poll.

The villagers identified the alleged Zanu PF supporters as Tichaona Kadyamusuma, Gibson Nyakuba, Chenjerai Mukoko, Martin Njanji and Loveness Nyakabobo.

According to the court papers, the Zanu PF supporters “planned and masterminded the unlawful deprivation of plaintiffs’ property as punishment/fines for being MDC supporters and for voting against Zanu PF (in the March poll)”.

Kadyamusuma and Nyakuba are alleged to have been the leaders of the Zanu PF activists taking livestock and grains “to eat and sustain their “bases”, namely Chawagonahapana and Avilla Business Centre in Ward 2 in Katerere.

Eddison Njanji claimed in the court papers that he lost eight chickens and three buckets of maize to Martin Njanji while Chikata and Mugambiwa alleged that Kadyamusuma took his three goats and three buckets of maize.

The plaintiffs alleged: “Attempts to obtain assistance of members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police at Ruwangwe police were of no use as the police refused to render such assistance or arrest defendants for their criminal and unlawful conduct.”

In a similar case, (case number 45/09) Givemore Chengetai Renzva alleged that Zanu PF activists Kadyamusuma, Peter Masenza and Martin Njanji forcibly took from him a spraying broom and a ploughing chain.

Clemence Mawere claimed that the Zanu PF supporters took him to their Avilla Business Centre base where he was interrogated and assaulted by Nyakuba and ordered to bring livestock and grain.

In case number 44/09, Pedzisai, Charles and Gift Kambarami, Sarudzai Kanhere, Edward Sanyamwera, Esnath Nyagunyu, Godfrey Gohoto, Lovemore Jambo and Esnath Gororombe alleged that Zanu PF supporters looted their property, which included sunflower seeds, maize, guinea fowls, goats and chickens.

The Zanu PF supporters were identified as Tichaona, Courage, Mike and Obert Kadyamusuma, Richard Bulawayo, Fungai Nyakurega, Paul Teta, Samuel Sanyamwera, Rhoda Biasi and Peter Nyambo Masenza.
The accused were yet to respond to the civil court cases against them at the time of going to print yesterday.

Meanwhile, in Bikita a court granted seven villagers an order to claim about US$7 000 in damages for property looted by alleged Zanu PF supporters during the campaign for the run-off.

The villagers –– Zinyimo Taruona, Kufakunesu Ngorima, Idah Murigo, Christopher Pakayi, Albert Mudisi, Catherine Marakata and Rugare Chipfumo –– alleged that 17 Zanu PF supporters led the looting.

BY WONGAI ZHANGAZHA

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