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Persecution of Mazowe villagers exposes first family

by Stephen Jakes
19 Apr 2017 at 20:44hrs | Views
ZIMBABWEAN authorities have let the cat out of the bag after explicitly revealing and confirming the First Family's interests in a fertile farm in Mazowe in Mashonaland Central province, where several villagers have endured persecution from proxies of President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace.

Local, regional and international media and human rights groups had for years relied on speculation in linking up First Lady Grace Mugabe as having interests in occupying Anold Farm commonly known as Manzou Farm in Mazowe, where reports indicated that she intended to expand her projects.

Since 2014, villagers in Mazowe had endured a torrid time with some unidentified personnel, who were accompanied by some Zimbabwe Republic

Police (ZRP) officers and some Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement officials, terrorised them as they demolished and evicted the inhabitants' homesteads.

Last month, ZRP officers accompanied by some Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement officials descended on Anold Farm and began demolishing villagers' homesteads and evicting them once again to pave way for occupation of the farm by Grace.

The villagers, with the assistance of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights petitioned the High Court in March, which barred the authorities from demolishing their homesteads and evicting them.

However, it is the recent arrest and prosecution of two villagers Tapiwa Dhaisi and Sinikiwe Mazivei, which has given away the First Family's interests in the farm which for long had been shrouded in secrecy.

According to court papers which the State is relying upon in prosecuting Dhaisi aged 39 years and Mazivei aged 32 years, who will stand trial on Thursday 20 April 2017 at Bindura Magistrates Court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) revealed that the two Mazowe villagers, who were arrested on 07 April 2017 by ZRP officers and granted free bail, illegally entered into Anold Farm on 07 April 2017 "which is owned by the First Family" and refused to leave the land without lawful excuse when called upon to do so by the lawful occupier.

Dhaisi and Mazivei, who are married, are also being charged with assaulting or resisting a peace officer as defined in Section 176 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

Prosecutors claimed that the duo assaulted and resisted two peace officers namely Assistant Inspector James Teta and Constable Tongovona

in the course of their duties on 07 April 2017 at Anold Farm.

The NPA said Teta and Tongovona of ZRP Support Unit were assaulted when they were patrolling in Anold Farm telling the villagers whom

they referred to as "illegal settlers" to leave the area.

Dhaisi and Mazivei, who were left hospitalised, are currently nursing injuries which were sustained after they were severely assaulted upon

arrest for allegedly refusing to vacate Anold Farm and pave way for occupation by the First Family.



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