Government deploys police to combat illegal settlers

Source: The Chronicle – Breaking news

Government deploys police to combat illegal settlers 
Minister Ezra Chadzamira

Lingani Nyika,

GOVERNMENT has deployed the police to ensure all illegal settlers on State agriculture land immediately vacate the affected places as it moves in to restore order and reverse the mayhem that has been created by land barons.

Masvingo is also among the affected provinces with hundreds of individuals in all the seven districts of Masvingo province — Bikita, Chiredzi, Gutu, Masvingo, Mwenezi and Zaka, said to be riddled with illegal settlers.

In a press statement, Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira, said the Government would not tolerate unauthorised occupation of State land and warned that those doing so would face the wrath of the law.

“If you are illegally settling on communal land, local authority land, State land, peri-urban land, rural service centre or growth point land, you are advised to vacate immediately and follow due processes in acquiring land,” he said. 

“Government condemns without any reservation the illegal settlements, occupations, parcelling out and sale of the aforementioned land without the permission of the relevant authority. 

Zimbabwe Republic Police

“It is a criminal offense in terms of the Zimbabwe Land Commission Act (Chapter 20:29) and the Gazetted Lands (Consequential Provisions) Act (Chapter 20:28), to occupy State land without lawful authority in the form of a Permit, an Offer Letter or a Lease.”

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has been mandated to implement an operation to restore order and ensure sanity in land allocation and settlement within the province.

Minister Chadzamira said the operation began this week (10 January) and is expected to continue for a whole month.

“ZRP was instructed to implement ‘Operation Order No to Land Barons’ for the period January 10, 2024 to February 9, 2024. The mission is ‘to bring sanity on State land by arresting offenders engaging in the occupation and sale of state land without authority,” he said.

Minister Chadzamira said illegal occupations have adversely affected agriculture productivity.

“Illegal settlers occupy catchment areas, wetlands, grazing land, peri-urban areas and other agriculture land affecting productivity and threatening dam and river catchments with siltation,” he said.

Applicants must acquire land through authorised offices and personnel.

“For agriculture and/or residential stands applications in resettlement areas, visit the nearest Land Management and Administration District Office. 

“For land applications in communal areas and growth points visit the local authority for the area,” said Minister Chadzamira.