Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Soldiers ordered out of farm


Soldiers ordered out of farm

Twenty-two Masvingo villagers from whose houses were razed down by soldiers two weeks ago breathed a sigh of relief this week after Gutu resident magistrate Edwin Marecha ordered the armed forces off the farm.


By Tatenda Chitagu

The villagers, from Chomufuli Farm in Gutu, last month had sought the intervention of the courts to stop the soldiers from 4:2 Infantry Battalion army barracks at Mpandawana Growth Point from terrorising them.

They wanted the courts to force Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi to stop the attacks.

In the application before the court, Sekeramayi was cited as the first respondent, while the unnamed commander of 4.2 Infantry Battalion was the second respondent.

“The magistrate granted a final order, meaning the soldiers were ordered not to interfere with the villagers,” their lawyer, Philip Shumba of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, confirmed.

Initially, Marecha had ruled that the case was not urgent and postponed it to last Monday when he delivered the ruling.

Prior to the court application, the villagers, who were beneficiaries of the fast-track land reform programme in 2002, had petitioned the district lands officer to no avail, claiming the soldiers wanted to grab their plots.



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