About 200 settlers at Clipsham Farm, most of them war veterans gathered at the farms`s homestead last week where they demanded to see the Minister of State for Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira over Government plans to have them evicted.
They accused Government of trying to push them out of the area so that some land barons can come in and make money by subdividing the land and selling low density residential stands to residents of Masvingo.
They vowed to fight back. Mirror reporters attended the meeting.
Clipsham Farm is about 4km from Masvingo along Masvingo – Beitbridge Highway.
It is to the south of the road just after Wimpy Service Station. It is an area that has some of the best agricultural soils in Masvingo and was a rich commercial farming zone before the land redistribution programme.
Most of the people resettled there are war veterans and active Zanu PF supporters.
When contacted for a comment president of the Chiefs` Council Chief Fortune Charumbira whose jurisdiction covers Clipsham said there is need for consultations as the people affected are not squatters because they have offer letters given in 2002.
“If Government has plans to use the land in question for something else it should respect those people settled there in order to avoid unnecessary problems.
“Mai Mugabe tried to take that land long back through my sister Gumbochuma but failed, Zvinavashe tried the same and people resisted.
My simple message is let’s respect those people and consult them if there is development that needs to be carried out in the area in question,” said chief Charumbira.
The chairman of the War Veterans in the area Matthew Kubiku declined to comment saying he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The huge crowd was addressed by the District Development Co-ordinator for Masvingo, Roy Hove.
Hove confirmed to the settlers that indeed Government has plans to get part of their land which is along Masvingo – Beitbridge Road and turn them into urban stands and this would naturally see some of them being evicted.
The angry war veterans shouted back at Hove and told him that Government is full of thieves.
They also accused the Second Republic of pushing them out of land given to them by the late President Robert Mugabe.
They also warned Government against distributing land as if it was an infinite resource which stretches.
The meeting became rowdy forcing Hove to announce that he would arrange a meeting between the Minister of State for Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira and the war veterans.
He told the war veterans that they will always get special treatment from Chadzamira.
“We are here to stay, we got this land from Robert Mugabe and now you want to make way for land barons, we will have none of that. You want to reverse the land reform program, our brothers are back we are prepared to die for our land,” shouted one man who was putting on a Zanu PF campaign T-shirt.
“We don’t want to be addressed by the DDC we want the Minister who is our MP or Mambo here they are better placed to address our grievances.
We know those who want to take our land to develop stands for themselves, we know them, they are thieves,” said an irate youth who declined to be named.-The Mirror