By Claris Madhuku- Over 300 villagers from Mahachi village in ward 24, under Chief Musikavanhu, rallied at the Chipinge Magistrates Court on Friday, protesting a pending land dispute with the Chipinge Rural District Council.
The court, expressing scepticism about the proper presentation of the villagers, allowed them to return home while the Chipinge RDC organised its case.
The disarray was evident as warned and cautioned statements signed by the villagers were deemed shambolic, necessitating a reworking to articulate the charges accurately.
The perplexing situation of over 300 villagers being brought to court in a single day without processed dockets led to chaos at the Magistrates court.
Professor Lovemore Madhuku, the villagers’ legal representative, working through Advocate Tazvitya, maintains that his clients, indigenous natives of Mahachi village, have no case to answer since time immemorial.
Simultaneously, 500 households from Munyokowere village in ward 5, summoned by Chipangayi ZRP on February 9th, are scheduled to appear at Chipangayi police station on February 10th, 2024, facing similar charges of residing illegally on gazetted land.
The case is already in court, with Chipinge RDC restrained by a High Court order from interfering with Munyokowere and Kondo villagers.
The looming threat of displacement and dispossession hangs over Munyokowere, Mahachi, Kondo, and Maunganidze villagers due to a land dispute dating back to 2018 when the second republic replaced the Mugabe regime.
Platform For Youth and Community Development (PYCD), in collaboration with various national civic society organisations, is diligently working to defend and protect the rights of the affected villagers.
- Claris Madhuku, writing as the PYCD director