Final warning to illegal settlers

Perence Shiri

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri has issued the third and final warning to illegal settlers on rural state land that they should immediately vacate those pieces of land across the country.

According to the ministry, the illegal settlers are those without any offer letter, permit, lease or title deed.

Prior warnings were issued in August 2016 and October 2017 advising all illegal settlers to vacate the rural state land return to their original homes.

Minister Shiri said the government will not tolerate unplanned land occupation that compromise properly planned settlements and lead to the destruction of natural resources.

“Those occupying rural state land without lawful authority are committing a crime in terms of the Lands Consequential Provisions Act chapter 20 section 28. Members of the public should not be deceived by some individuals who encourage them to continue with illegal occupation of state land, claiming that they will protect them from eviction. No one else has the authority to allocate rural state land except my ministry,” he said.

Shiri also warned the public not to be conned by some people collecting money from the illegal settlers, claiming that they will get legal representation to prevent them from being evicted, saying the courts cannot protect those who break the law and neither do they have the mandate to allocate land.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Shiri said it is important to respect, honour and protect the planned carrying capacities of farms in resettlement areas for sustainable agricultural production to be realised in Zimbabwe.

He concluded his statement by appealing to legally settled farmers to report any encroachment by illegal settlers on their allocated land to the district and provincial lands offices for assistance in having them evicted by the state. – ZBC