Gwanda villagers demand offer letters 

Source: Gwanda villagers demand offer letters – The Southern Eye

ABOUT 180 Gwanda villagers, who appeared in court last week facing a charge of illegal occupation of State land, have appealed to the government to give them offer letters so that they regularise their stay on the land.

Some of the villagers who appeared before magistrate Talent Phiri making an application challenging further remand had their application dismissed and will return to court on March 26.

Others who appeared before magistrate Lerato Nyathi had their charges withdrawn before plea as State papers were not in order.

Zanu PF Nyandeni district chairperson Bongani Mlilo said they had begun a process of mobilising support to get offer letters from the government.

“Some of us had charges withdrawn but we still want to know our fate, we need offer letters since we have been paying for the occupation of the land but were told to stop until our stay has been regularised,” Mlilo said. Police rounded up the villagers on February 7, 2024, alleging that they were illegally occupying Hollins Block Estate in Gwanda.

The villagers had gathered following an announcement that there was a food distribution exercise.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights condemned the arrest noting that they were being charged with occupying State-gazetted land without lawful authority as defined in section 3(1)(4), as read with section 5 of the Gazetted Land Consequential Provisions.