BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
MORE than 400 newly-resettled farmers in Maganga near Marondera, were last week evicted to pave way for the farm’s original owner, Hunyani Estate.
The farmers were chucked out by the Messenger of Court, who pounced on them armed with a court order. Their property was forcibly removed and dumped along the Harare-Mutare railway line.
The Maganga area is in ward 23, about 20km east of Marondera town.
The area is located in the tourism-rich area where the Benard Mizeki shrine and Tsindi Ruins are located.
When NewsDay visited, the farmers, mostly Zanu PF supporters, were living in the open despite the cold weather.
There are no toilets in the area.
“We woke up to realise that we were surrounded by riot police in the company of a Messenger of Court telling us to leave. They ferried our goods including our crops and dumped us here. We do not have anywhere to go. We are told that this land belongs to Hunyani Estate,” one of the leaders, Sphiwe Siyawamwaya said.
“In 2017, officials from the Lands ministry told us that they will allocate 200 hectares of land to us, but today it is another story. Life is hard for us here, considering that we are living in the open.”
NewsDay also witnessed top Zanu PF officials visiting the area as they sought solutions to the crisis.
In a video directed to Mashonaland East provincial leaders, which was shot by one of the victims doing rounds on social media platforms, the victims are appealing for assistance in the form of tents, among other things.
“The situation here is so dire. We are living in the open, we kindly appeal for assistance in the form of tents, food and ablution facilities,” one of the farmers said.
Zanu PF Marondera district secretary for lands, Richmore Chikore said they were aware of the crisis.
“The party is currently looking into the issue,” Chikore said.
There are also reports that Zanu PF yesterday held a meeting where the Marondera evictions were discussed.
Efforts to get a comment from Marondera district development co-odinator Clement Masawi were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.
- Follow Jairos on Twitter @jairossaunyama