Linda Masarira, the President of the Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) party has urged authorities to abide by the Constitution following developments in Masvingo Province, particularly in Gutu, where villagers were arraigned before Gutu Magistrates court charged with illegal settlement on State land.
According to reports by The Mirror Masvingo, the affected villagers bought land from village heads in both communal and resettlement areas. In the report, urban residents who bought stands from land barons are also charged and they have been given until May 10 2024 to vacate. The evictees are complaining that they have nowhere to go after staying at their current places for up to 20 years and building expensive homesteads. They have also been paying rates to local authorities.
Commenting on the development, Linda Masarira said there is a need to abide by the Constitution of Zimbabwe which is the Supreme Law of this land.
“Section 44 enshrines the obligation of the state, every person, including juristic persons and every institution, including agencies of government at every level to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the duty to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms.
“Government directive for Zimbabweans settled on so-called illegal land is a violation to section 28 of the constitution of Zimbabwe which expressly states that the state and all agencies of government should ensure that every Zimbabwean has access to adequate shelter,” Masarira said.
The firebrand politician argued that the government has never been sincere about housing and land allocation for the past twenty years.
“Native Zimbabweans are living like foreigners in their own country as access to land for farming or residential stands is now a preserve of the elite or ZANU (PF) card-carrying members. These people who are being ordered to vacate their homes, where are they expected to go? Has the government made provisions for them to get alternative accommodation? What are the plans to compensate development done on the land?
“President Mnangagwa’s administration should stop the habit of just making sporadic, inhumane decisions that affect livelihoods and people’s right to personal security as well. In the video circulating on social media, Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Hon Chadzamira speaks of illegally parcelled land. Who was parcelling the land? In rural areas, masabhuku nemadzimambo (chiefs and village heads) and all local leaders are ZANU (PF) patriots. In urban areas, we have land barons who are predominantly ZANU (PF) supporters and in farming communities, those selling land are those who got offer letters with no capacity to farm,” Masarira said.
Before causing so much pain, suffering and homelessness to hundreds and thousands of Zimbabweans, Masarira is proposing an extension for the eviction of the people who have been told to vacate the land where they are dwelling until they receive restitution or are compensated.
“We are all Zimbabweans and should not continue to use archaic laws left behind by the Smith regime to make our own people suffer. Some of these laws should just be eradicated and every Zimbabwean should just be allocated land at their rural home to build a homestead. Nyika yeDzimbahwe inorema, inezvirehwa rehwa zvayo. Misodzi yevana veDzimbahwe yayerera yakwana. Vene ngavasiwe pamisha yavakavaka vagarewo zvakanaka savamwe. (There has been a lot of suffering for Zimbabweans. Citizens should be allowed to build good houses and to live in peace).”
Masarira added that no Zimbabwean should be homeless nor be rendered homeless because of the corrupt and unethical conduct of a few connected ones.
“We will continue to fight for the vulnerable and voiceless until sanity prevails. The land belongs to the people and the President is the custodian and not the owner!” averred Masarira.