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» » » ZLHR fights Chikomba RDC for land theft

Elliot Jinjika

- The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has intervened in a case involving the unlawful seizure of private land by Chikomba Rural District Council (RDC) from five Chivhu residents.
Five Ferreraton Commonage residents, with help from Chivhu Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (CHRRA) took up their case with ZLHR after the RDC seized their agricultural land and earmarked it for Chivhu local development plan.
In April, the RDC tried to justify the seizure saying it could not allow the land to be used for A1 farming activities when it could be incorporated into the small town's expansion programme.
The residents said they have title deeds for the land in Ferreraton Commonage, Swaartfontein Farm, which they claim has been theirs since 1983.
ZLHR has now written to the RDC requesting explanation on council exercise of reallocating the land at the farm.
"The change of use and reallocation of our clients' land has induced a sense of shock in our clients as they were never informed of these developments, in violation of Section 68 of the constitution of Zimbabwe which gives every citizen the right to administrative justice," reads part of the letter.
The rights lobby group also demands that Section 71 of the Constitution, which deals with citizens' right to hold property, should be respected.
When contacted for comment, Chikomba RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Luckson Mutara said he was on sick leave and could not comment on issues that have to do with his office.
CHRRA chairperson Collen Zvarevashe said the association represents the people and was determined to stand for justice.
He also said CHRRA will always stand for the rights of the five residents whom it said should be allowed to take back possession of their land as they have title deeds for it.local

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