New Zimbabwe.com

TPF Urges Collective Rejection On Chilonga Evictions

Spread This News

By Staff Reporter


OPPOSITION The Patriotic Front has called on all Zimbabweans to unite and put up their collective resistance against looming evictions of more than 12 500 villagers from Chilonga, Masvingo Province.

Government has pulled all the stops to evict the villagers from their ancestral land to pave a way for a Lucerne grass farming project by a dairy business entity with close links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The villagers have objected to the move which has also been condemned by a cross section of Zimbabweans, among them political parties and civil society groups.

TPF is the latest opposition party to condemn the move.

“Zimbabweans need to unite and stop the looming evictions of more than 12,500 villagers from Chilonga, Masvingo Province,” said party secretary for information Mxolisi Ncube in a statement.

Ncube said the villagers should ordinarily have power to decide whether they wanted to be moved or not.

This comes amid reports some were terrorised by suspected state security agents trying to force them to agree to their forced relocation.

Said Ncube, “It cannot be allowed that more than 40 years after the country gained its independence, peasants, who should be the biggest beneficiaries of our self-rule, continue to be the biggest victims of eviction from communal land for the benefit of a few elites connected to those in power.

“Also disheartening are revelations that the villagers are being victimized so that they can pave way for a Lucerne project whose owners have direct links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a man elected to protect the poorest of the poor among Zimbabweans.”

TFP spokesperson said the widely publicised plight of the villagers should in fact galvanise Zimbabweans into forming a united front against forced relocations.

“If ever there has been a growing need for Zimbabweans to unite against state victimization of the vulnerable, that time is now, as the eviction of Chilonga villagers would enforce a bad precedent in which those in the corridors of power can willy-nilly toy around with people as if they have no rights in their country.”

Government has strongly defended its unpopular stance on the move.

READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

CHILONGA EVICTIONS A SAD REMINDER OF THE FACT THAT ZIMBABWEANS ARE NOT YET FREE

Zimbabweans need to unite and stop the looming evictions of more than 12,500 villagers from Chilonga, Masvingo Province.

The Patriotic Front (TPF) is also worried over recent media reports that the villagers, who legally and procedurally should have a say on whether they want to move or not, are being harassed and terrorised by suspected state security agents trying to force them to agree to their forced relocation.

It cannot be allowed that more than 40 years after the country gained its independence, peasants, who should be the biggest beneficiaries of our self-rule, continue to be the biggest victims of eviction from communal land for the benefit of a few elites connected to those in power.

Also disheartening are revelations that the villagers are being victimized so that they can pave way for a Lucerne project whose owners have direct links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a man elected to protect the poorest of the poor among Zimbabweans.

If ever there has been a growing need for Zimbabweans to unite against state victimization of the vulnerable, that time is now, as the eviction of Chilonga villagers would enforce a bad precedent in which those in the corridors of power can willy-nilly toy around with people as if they have no rights in their country.

The looming evictions are in contravention of Section 74 of the Zimbabwean constitution: “Freedom from arbitrary eviction”, which clearly states that: “No person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.”

It is against this background that The Third Way is calling upon Zimbabweans to unite across political, racial and whatever divide to prevent this looming threat to personal freedoms, which may be repeated in other areas outside Chilonga. We already know that there is a similar threat in Chipinge and Hwange, where people’s continued stay in their communal lands is being threatened by the government in service of the powerful.

TPF joins the rest of the country in condemning this injustice, with emphasis that every Zimbabwean should be granted both their freedom from arbitrary evictions and their right to shelter and dignity, regardless of their class in society and or their political connections. There is no Zimbabwe for the rich and powerful; there is no Zimbabwe for the poor and vulnerable: there is one Zimbabwe for all who choose to call her home.

Every Zimbabwean sacrificed their time and resources and risked their lives to bring about the country’s independence and should therefore; enjoy the fruits of its attainment

– including equality, justice and fair treatment under the law.

TPF is inviting all organisations, political parties (including the progressive individuals from within Zanu PF itself), human rights groups and members of the legal fraternity, to come together and render their utmost assistance to these threatened villagers, to ensure that this and other similar future evictions are prevented.

Let us unite and stop this injustice directed at fellow Zimbabweans! Every Zimbabwean must enjoy feel and enjoy their being Zimbabwean.

Zimbabwe deserves better! Zimbabweans deserve better!