Chiyangwa in court over farm violence




Philip Chiyangwa

HARARE – About 30 residents of Old Citrus Farm in Mazowe say they are living in nearby mountains in fear of flamboyant businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, whom they claim has hired police officers to harass them.

The villagers have approached the High Court seeking an order to bar Chiyangwa, a Zanu-PF legislator for Zvimba South, from evicting them.

The residents claim that they are the rightful occupants of the land. They cited Chiyangwa, the Officer-In-Charge, Chinhoyi Rural Police Station, the Officer-In-Charge Chinhoyi Criminal Investigations Department and Lands minister Anxious Masuka as respondents in the application.

John Mabonde, who deposed the affidavit on behalf of the residents, stated that the attacks started nearly two weeks ago when Chiyangwa allegedly sent his manager, Tafadzwa Kwaramba, in the company of police officers to harass villagers.

“On September 24, around 0800hours, the first respondent (Chiyangwa)’s manager Tafadzwa Kwaramba in the company of police constables Mazviwanza, Sergeant Asami and others visited our homestead and started taking people into their truck indiscriminately,” Mabonde said.

He said they moved door-to-door, intimidated people, and searched and confiscated their cash and valuables, while others were arrested, taken to Chinhoyi Magistrates Court and charged with contravening section 3 of the Lands Act. They were released on
$2 000 bail each.

Mabonde said the police visited them again on September 27 and evicted them without a court order.

He said in fear, some villagers ran away, while others have since camped in the mountains.

Mabonde also alleged that during the commotion, some residents were injured, but they failed to get treatment at clinics or hospitals because of the requirement to produce police reports.

The villagers want the High Court to declare Chiyangwa and the police’s action unlawful.

The matter is yet to be heard.

Source – NewsDay