Land dispute turns nasty

Getrude Muzowaka

A MUTASA mother and her son sued their village head and six other villagers for assaulting them over some State land.

Getrude Muzowaka and her son, Lovemore Muzowaka had to apply for a protection order after being assaulted by Green Valley village head, Noah Kafesu and his accomplices, John Bonde, Munyaradzi Bonde, Juliet Bonde, Jerry Bonde, Anesu Manyuchi and Steven Manyuchi.

The altercation resulted in Getrude losing her tooth.

The parties appeared before Mutare magistrate, Mr Lazarus Murendo.

A protection order was granted to Getrude and Lovemore after the former had narrated the sad encounter to the court.

She said she was only rescued by Lovemore who had to use an axe to keep the marauding gang at bay.

Muzowaka told the court that the land in question belonged to her and that Kafesu had only requested to use it as a temporal business centre.

“They ganged up against me, assaulted and pushed me to the wall. That is when I lost my tooth. When I tried to get up, I was bleeding from my mouth. They did not stop assaulting me. My son’s intervention saved me from further bashing,” explained the elderly woman.

The gang is currently facing assault charges at the Mutare Magistrates’ Court.

“They wanted to kill me for this piece of land which I inherited from my late husband. They came to me and asked if they could temporarily use my land as a business centre and I agreed. Now that I am making money out of the land and leasing part of it to other business owners, they are ganging up against me.

“All of them have shops at that piece of land and they are afraid of competition, hence their move to stop other businesspeople from investing there. I have not sold the land, but I am leasing it out. I just want them to stop harassing me,” she said.

In response, Kafesu said Getrude is selling land that was allocated by the Agriculture Ministry to the village as space for a temporal business area.

“When we went to her homestead to stop her from selling the State land, we were acting as messengers from the Agriculture Ministry. When we relayed the message to her, she became violent. She grabbed an axe and tried to attack us with it,” he said.

Kafesu’s accomplices said they are part of the village leadership, adding that it is their duty to stop Getrude from selling the land.

Mr Murendo, however, ordered the seven men to stop breaching the Muzowakas’ peace.

He told them to respect Getrude and her son’s privacy.

“You went there reportedly on the instructions of the Agriculture Ministry, but no-one is appearing before this court representing that particular ministry. Someone’s homestead is a place where they are supposed to feel safe and you had no right to be there if you were not welcomed.

“The Constitution of this country endorses privacy for everyone. If the Agriculture Ministry feels that she is misusing that land, they can apply for an interdict. Do not disturb her peace whatsoever,” said Mr Murendo.

The order will be valid for 12 months. – Manica Post