By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
A TOTAL of 31 families are facing imminent eviction from a farm in Banket measuring more than 624 hectares to accommodate a traditional leader.
According to State papers, the new beneficiary of the farm is Chief Zvimba, born Stanley Wurayayi Mhondoro.
Last week, Ben Mutambu and 20 others appeared before a Chinhoyi magistrate and were granted US$40 bail each for illegally occupying gazetted land. Nine other villagers are still outstanding and are due to appear in court soon facing similar charges.
This Monday, Vitalis Guviro (56) of Plot 8 Lion Kopje farm, Banket was dragged before Chinhoyi Magistrate Rumbidzai Tshuma charged with contravening Section 3 (1) of the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act Chapter 20:28 for refusing to vacate part of the property that now belongs to Chief Zvimba.
He was remanded on bail to February 26 for trial when an application for joinder with co-accused persons will be tendered.
The complainant is the State represented by lands officer, Wilfred Bika.
The State case, led by Brighton Machekera, is that on July 6, 2001, the Government of Zimbabwe acquired and gazetted Lion Kopje farm measuring 624.402 ha in extent
The farm situated in the Zvimba district was planned by the relevant ministry and initially parcelled out to A1 farmers, who were granted offer letters.
According to State papers, on June 30, 2010, the farm was changed to an A2 (commercial) farm and all A1 offer letters were withdrawn by the Ministry of Lands, including Plot 8 where Guviro is residing.
The whole of Lion Kopje farm was subsequently allocated to Chief Zvimba who was granted an offer letter in 2012.
It was heard the accused person was served with a withdrawal of land offer and also handed a relocation offer, but he refused to sign it.