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Zimbabwe govt will not allow lawlessness

by Staff reporter
16 Feb 2024 at 05:08hrs | Views
The government has justified its actions in evicting and apprehending thousands of illegal settlers nationwide, asserting that it cannot tolerate lawlessness.

During a question and answer session in Parliament on Wednesday, Leader of Government Business and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi informed Speaker Jacob Mudenda that individuals who occupied land unlawfully should return to their previous residences.

Ziyambi was addressing concerns raised by Zanu-PF Member of Parliament Chamu Chiwanza regarding the ongoing arrests and evictions of "illegal settlers."

Chiwanza expressed worry, stating, "I am deeply concerned about the current wave of evictions and arrests of illegal settlers. What is the government's stance on resettling landless individuals?"

Thus far, a total of 3,775 illegal settlers have been apprehended for occupying designated land in the Zimbabwe Republic Police's operation dubbed ‘Operation No Land Barons and Illegal Settlements', which commenced in January. Among these, 985 have been convicted, while 3,360 cases are awaiting trial nationwide.

The ZRP's national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, confirmed these developments, noting significant arrests in Masvingo, Mashonaland West, Matebeleland South, and North.

In certain regions, settlers have seen their infrastructure demolished by local authorities, despite following resettlement protocols. Some settlers made payments to village heads or Chiefs.

On Tuesday, MPs raised similar concerns in Parliament, highlighting the eviction's insensitivity during the rainy season and amidst a deadly cholera outbreak.

While acknowledging the MPs' concerns, Ziyambi cautioned citizens to adhere to the country's laws.

"I understand Hon. Chiwanza's concerns. However, we are facing a situation where certain individuals believe they can act with impunity. The government has taken a stance that individuals must vacate undesignated areas and follow proper procedures until they are allocated land. This process is currently underway," Ziyambi stated.

He acknowledged that there may be isolated incidents of mistreatment of illegal settlers.

"As a government, we are committed to rectifying any such issues. The Minister of Lands (Anxious Masuka) is addressing the matter and will provide a ministerial statement to address the concerns raised by MPs.

"Minister Masuka will ensure that all matters are handled appropriately to prevent further lawlessness."

Source - newzimbabwe