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Matonga Flees, Farmers Refuse To Go Back To Their Homes

By Shingirai Vambe

Samuel Matonga, young brother to Bright Matonga has fled with all his belongings from a farm which initially belonged to a cooperative which he was member of before converting the cooperative into his own name.

After acquiring possession of the farm, Matonga sought a Court Order that granted eviction of over 400 families in Mufusire, Headlands Constituency in Manicaland, Makoni District.

The eviction order then left the affected people destitute.

In a twist of events, members of the Johane Marange apostolic sect have been given a green light to return to the aforesaid farm but are refusing to do so until the Ministry of Lands give them permits prior to their returning. They are citing the previous eviction as a reason for mistrust between them and the Government.

The affected families are squatting on the road side near Maturi or Macheke Grain Marketing Board (GMB) regardless of the fact that there is no ablution facilities and access to water at the place proving it a health hazard.

Speaking to this publication on Monday morning, one of the members said the situation at the road side is terribly bad claiming that one of the affected families lost a child few days ago, and the cause for death is unknown since they don’t believe in going to hospitals.

She however denied to release the name of the victim but only confirmed that they have been told to return back to their homes at the farm and also that Matonga had fled the area and is nowhere to be found.

Details that image during the interview are that the farm is more than 1000 hectares and it was registered under a cooperative of which the remaining member of the cooperative is Matonga who then went to the High Court to apply for an eviction order of over 400 families from the farm knowing he is the only member with legal documents and has since changed the name of the cooperative in respect of the constitution.

Without the Court’s discretion, the order was granted according to the rules.

Memory (not her real name) said they will go back to their house only if they are given land permits and or offer letters by the Ministry of Lands.

Efforts to get a comment from the District Development Coordinator, Edward Mashindi were fruitless as his mobile went unanswered and could not respond to questions sent to him by time of going to publish.

Meanwhile, former Zanu Pf youth leader, Kudzanayi Chipanga (G40) has been helping the affected families with food and other necessities since the day they were evicted as an aspiring Member of Parliament 2023 candidate for the Headlands Constituency.