Source: JOC demolishes 200 Headlands homes – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 7, 2017
OVER 200 illegal settlers at a Yorkshire C7 Farm in Headlands’ Makoni North constituency were left homeless last week after their homes were razed to the ground by government agents, NewsDay has learnt.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
State security agents under the banner of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) reportedly torched the villagers’ homes leaving them at the mercy of elements. The villagers occupied the land at the height of the chaotic land reform programme.
Makoni Rural District chairperson Guy Mutasa confirmed the development.
“JOC monitored the situation, they found out those people could not continue to live there. Those illegal settlers have been there for a quite long time and some are even aliens and they do not have identity cards, others are former farm workers,” Mutasa said, absolving council of any hand in the demolitions.
Mutasa South legislator and MDC-T Manicaland spokesperson Trevor Saruwaka urged the Zanu PF government to find alternative accommodation for the affected villagers.
“We were made to believe the demolitions were politically motivated, but we are told that they are just illegal settlers, but as long as Zanu PF is still in power the security of citizens in the country is not guaranteed,” he said
“The right to shelter is enshrined in our Constitution, so it should be respected at all costs. Given that we are moving towards the rain season it is important that government resolves this issue quickly”.
MDC-T Headlands district chairperson Chester Tauro said the demolitions were still being carried out yesterday.
“We have received reports that they are coming today (yesterday), we are going to find out if they have a court order but we are worried,” Tauro told NewsDay in a telephone interview.
Despite claims by government of stability in the country’s agricultural sector, disruptions continue and ordinary Zimbabweans have been the most affected. In Mashonaland Central villagers at Manzou Farm have for months been engaged in running battles with State agents who want to force them off the land they occupied under the land reform programme to make way for First Lady Grace Mugabe’s intended business expansion in the Mazowe Valley.