MASVINGO – Three illegal settlers who are facing eviction from Village 31 Afonmore Farm in Masvingo have told a local magistrate that they are not illegal because they paid taxes to the local authority for 24 years and they were allocated the land by a village head.
The three are being evicted under a grand operation dubbed, ‘No to Land Barons’ that will see 13 000 illegally settled families being booted out in Masvingo Province alone.
Pondiwa Charumbira (54), Ezekiel Mazani (29) and Simbarashe Charumbira (54) from Chief Charumbira’s area said they paid taxes from 1997 to date to Masvingo Rural District Council.
The matter was postponed to today for continuation of trial by Magistrate Tariro Linnet Mudzingo.
On January 18, 2024, officials from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Fisheries, Water and Rural Development and Police and Masvingo Rural District Council conducted an operation against land barons at Afonmore and that is when they arrested the three.
The suspects settled in a gazetted land from the year 1997 to date without proper documents.
Tarisai Muvengi appeared for the State. – Masvingo Mirror