Home » Governance » Ministry of Lands Drags Chief to Court

The Lands and Rural Resettlement Ministry is taking Chief Nhema of Shurugwi to court for allegedly illegally resettling 300 families in Chirumhanzu without Government permission. Midlands provincial lands officer Mr Joseph Shoko said Chief Nhema illegally resettled 307 families on Linslade, Hashu and Albany farms.

He will appear at the Gweru Magistrates’ Courts soon. “The three farms were gazetted in 2000 and our ministry resettled 302 families and issued them with offer letters. “Each beneficiary was allocated 20 hectares of land and part of the land was reserved as grazing areas.

“Sometime in August last year, Chief Nhema resettled 307 families on the land that had been reserved for livestock grazing. He did so without informing our ministry or even the responsible land committee,” Mr Shoko said. Mr Shoko alleges that Chief Nhema went on to send them a letter compelling them to formalise the resettlement and to also issue his illegally resettled families with offer letters, which the ministry turned down.

Chief Nhema argues that the land in question falls under his jurisdiction. “. . .Chief Nhema does not have the mandate to resettle people on gazetted farms. “We have taken the matter to the courts and the chief is set to appear before Gweru magistrate on May 5 this year,” he said.

Mr Shoko said the ministry was evicting the illegally resettled families. “As far as we are concerned, the land belongs to the State and we are repossessing it. “We are taking remedial action against the chief and the people he resettled. We are aising the resettled families to vacate the land as soon as possible.

“(Lands) Minister Douglas Mombeshora reiterated that the land redistribution process must be procedural and above board,” he said. Efforts to get a comment from Chief Nhema were fruitless at the time of writing.

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent

Source : The Herald