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Approximately 200 Settlers At Umvutsha Farm Face Eviction

6 months agoSat, 30 Dec 2023 07:27:43 GMT
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Approximately 200 Settlers At Umvutsha Farm Face Eviction

Approximately 200 settlers at Umvutsha farm in Matabeleland North province, Zimbabwe, are facing eviction from the land they have been occupying for over a decade. These settlers were initially evicted in 2019 but recently returned to the property, NewsDay reported. The chairperson of the resettled farmers, Ernest Buseti, appeared in court on charges of unlawfully occupying State land and was remanded in custody until his next court appearance.

According to the State, the settlers intentionally disregarded multiple warnings from authorities to vacate the land, which is owned by the government. However, the resettled farmers, represented by their lawyer Bartholomew Mhandire, argue that it is unjust for the State to charge them with illegal occupation since they were provided with offer letters by the Ministry of Lands. Mhandire argued:

These people were given offer letters by the ministry of Lands.

They were later evicted but they challenged their eviction at the higher courts..

The Supreme Court upheld their appeal to say that the 2008 and any other subsequent hearing which was done by the High Court was a nullity because once land is gazetted no court shall have jurisdiction.

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The settlers have been residing on the Umvutsha farm since 2008, and during their time there, they have erected structures and have been paying taxes. The farm, which is owned by the Fletcher family, was gazetted in 2000. In 2008, additional pieces of land held by Michael Fletcher were also gazetted.

recent report claims the farm is owned by Tara and Troy Maidwell. The family is into market gardening, supplying numerous supermarkets in Bulawayo with vegetables.

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