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» »Unlabelled » Villagers take Bikita RDC to court over land

Tafadzwa Nyikadzino/
Kudakwashe Murwira

Villagers of Musavengana in Bikita have dragged their local authority Bikita Rural District Council (RDC) over a land dispute.
 Nevison Matambura, who represents the villagers, said council want to seize their land and incorporate it into the Nyika commonage without compensating the villagers for the loss.
"We have approached the courts; we want villagers to be compensated. We have been receiving threats from local leadership that they will take stern measures against us if we continue pursuing the matter at the courts but we are not deterred.
"We want justice and council should compensate villagers for the loss of land. We are not resisting development but we want it to be done on a win/win situation," said Matambura.
Headman Mupakwa, Clemence Vengai Munyika, whom the villagers accused of siding with the council and threatening them, said he was engaging the council so that all the families affected get at least two residential stands each before they are relocated.
"I don't know what they are talking about if they say I am siding with council. I am only interpreting the law and, in fact, I am engaging council so that they get at least two stands each before they are relocated.
"There are however, some families that were illegally resettled by the village head and these might not get the same number of stands as others but certainly they are not going to be moved empty-handed," said Mupakwa.
 "Villagers approached me to help them get their compensation from council and I have been doing that whole heartedly. I have never threatened anyone and it would be very silly of me to threaten my own people and relatives," said


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