Government to evict land invaders

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By Anna Chibamu

Government says more than 400 land invaders will be removed from the areas they have illegally settled themselves before the start of the rain season.

Lands Ministry permanent secretary Ringson Chitsiko Tuesday told parliament’s lands committee that those in dire need for land will be resettled, adding that former farm workers were causing serious problems in farms.

The top government official urged former farm workers to remain within compounds they were left by their former employers until government assisted them.

Recently, many former farmer workers and their families have been evicted by new land owners.

They had been living in the farms until the time white farmers were thrown out under the Zanu PF led government’s controversial land grab which started 2000.

“Land invaders have been served with eviction notices giving them enough time to harvest their crops as district and provincial committees have been advised to oversee the process.

“Evictions have been carried out in some areas after the expiry of the notices,” Chitsiko reported.

Chitsiko said those who occupied farms during the period 2000 to 2004 and are settled in an orderly manner will not be affected by the evictions as they are not classified as land invaders under this exercise.

He expressed concern over the invasions which he said needed to be addressed urgently in order to protect the legally settled framers.

However, committee members were not convinced as they sought answers on why top government officials were displacing some productive farmers from their farms yet there were people with multiple farms.