Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe land saga: Villagers to know fate

2015-01-12 12:09
Grace Mugabe. (File: AP)

Grace Mugabe. (File: AP)

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Cape Town - Over 200 families, who were evicted from a farm in the north of the capital Harare to make way for First Lady Grace Mugabe's private wildlife sanctuary, are set to know their fate on Monday.

According to a News Day report, the case was set to be sealed at the High Court where Justice Erica Ndewere was expected to make a ruling on the matter.

Last week, heavily armed police officers evicted more than 200 families from a farm in eastern Zimbabwe to create space for a game park proposed by Grace.

Police officers and members of Zimbabwe's secret service turned up at the farm, forcing the residents to leave without notice.

This happened despite the fact that the families were granted a court order last year preventing the authorities from evicting them from their homes - where Grace already owns an orphanage, a school and a farm - until they had been allocated alternative land.

The Zimbabwe government has, however, denied the First Lady was behind the demolitions, saying: "It [the eviction programme] has got nothing to do with the First Family at all".

Meanwhile, the Daily News reported on Sunday that anger was growing against Grace’s land grabs in Mazowe, with opposition parties condemning her "callous" eviction of poor families from the farm.

Spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change, Obert Gutu, accused Grace of being "inhumane", adding that she had unlawfully and selfishly taken over the entire Mazowe valley, which is one of the most fertile farming areas in Zimbabwe.

Grace, who married President Robert Mugabe in 1996, reportedly seized several farms in the past decade, although, under the land reforms act, an individual is not allowed to own more than one.

President Mugabe launched a wave of farm seizures from the year 2000 to resettle black farmers on land previously owned by whites.

Read more on:    mdc  |  grace mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe land reforms

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