2 village leaders in land theft

The villagers moved onto the land and constructed structures.

TWO village leaders in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North, appeared in court on Tuesday facing a charge of unlawful allocation of stands. They allocated stands to 38 people.

Village head Chikombingo Moses Nyamande (84) and  village development committee member Danisa Nyathi (59) were not asked to plead when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Maxwell Ncube.

They were granted US$100 bail each and remanded to February 8 for trial.

The magistrate ordered them not to interfere with State witnesses and to reside at their given address until the finalisation of the case.The court heard that Nyathi and Nyamande are resettled farmers on gazetted State land.

During the period from 2023 to January 21 this year, Nyamande and Nyathi allegedly allocated stands to 38 villagers without State authority.The villagers moved onto the land and constructed structures.

The State said on January 22, police received a tip-off that Nyamande and Nyathi were illegally parcelling out State land.

Police officers attended the scene and they found 38 settlers who had occupied the land and built housing structures.

The court was told that Nyamande and Nyathi failed to produce documentation authorising the settlers to occupy the land in question, leading to their arrest.

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