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» »Unlabelled » Stranded war vets live in open for two months


Upenyu Chaota

Seven stranded families of war veterans who were evicted from Southwill farm – about 25 km east of Masvingo city are becoming destitute as they have lived in the open for close to two months now with children being exposed to harsh winter weather conditions.
However, the war veterans have turned down the Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Shuvai Mahofa's land offer at Tokwe Mukosi catchment area saying they do not want to be moved from the land that is rightfully theirs.
This publication was informed that the land in question however, belongs to Orsman Khan who holds the title deeds to the 1 500 hectares piece of land.
On April 27 2016 Khan's workers accompanied by the Messenger of Court destroyed the houses of the war veterans in his farm saying that they were illegal settlers, leaving seven families homeless.
Speaking at a war veterans meeting at Masvingo Polytechnical College two weeks ago, Mahofa promised the evicted families pieces of land at Tokwe Mukosi catchment area if they organised themselves.
"I have heard the plight of our fellow comrades and if they organise themselves I am sure I will be able to provide land for them since we are clearing the Tokwe Mukosi catchment area. In that area, they will live more peacefully without any fears of being evicted.
"They will have a better and bigger place to start all over," said Mahofa.
War veterans national secretary for Legal Affairs, Charlice Muchena has however shot down Mahofa's efforts saying his fellow comrades have vowed to stay put on the farm.
"Mahofa was just making a political statement. Our people have been on the farm for over 17 years and you cannot just move them now.
"Khan's farm was initially 1 232 hectares but because of corruption, he was given1 500 hectares during the pegging process thereby disadvantaging our people. The land which Khan is claiming to own is not his, that is why we have since tried to engage the Ministry of Lands to try and diffuse the matter.
"We went as war veterans to meet the provincial lands director but we could not find him which made us leave him a letter but we have got no response thus far," said Muchena.
Asked where the evicted families are at the moment after their homes were destroyed, Muchena said they were still living in the open.
"We are going to visit them as war veterans and see how best we can handle the situation but they will not be moved," said Muchena.news

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