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Zvishavane villagers lose ancestral land

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By Senior Reporter

VILLAGERS from Zvishavane’s Mudereri Village have lost part of their ancestral land after it was sold to FBC Building Society by the  Rural District Council.

FBC has started developing the land to create a residential suburb without prior notice to the villagers.

A total of 34 villagers had tried to seek the court’s intervention but their court application was thrown out by High Court judge, Justice Siyabona Paul Musithu who ruled they were trying to deceive the court.

In their court application, they cited Local Government Ministry, Runde Rural District Council, Zvishavane Town Council, Chief Masunda, Zvishavane Rural District Administrator and the FBC Building Society as respondents.

The judge said there is an existing court order granting respondents authority to carry on, hence his court could not make another ruling on the same issue.

“There was therefore clearly no reason why a claim involving the same parties and same cause of action had to be split .Such an approach leads one to reach the conclusion that some mischief was intended.

“The mischief behind the splitting of the claim is not difficult to decipher. It was meant to deceive the court. If those matters were placed before a different judge one judge could be persuaded to declare annexation of the plaintiff’s lands by the defendants unlawful.

“The plaintiff’s claim be and is hereby dismissed.”

The villagers initially approached court in 2020 after their land was put under Zvishavane Town Council by the local government minister.

In response, the RRDC, Zvishavane Town Council and the FBC Building Society had filed a special plea, arguing that the matter should be dismissed as Justice Clement Phiri had already dismissed a similar application that the villagers had filed before.