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Bulawayo Evicts Farm Invaders

BULAWAYO City Council is on a collision course with war veterans following Monday’s eviction of more than 100 families who occupied a municipal farm.

Controversial Zanu PF member Lillian Kandemiri, led the invasion of Umganwini Council farm in 2008 and parcelled it out to more than 300 people for a fee.

Since the invasion of the vast farm adjacent to Emganwini high-density suburb, council has been battling to evict Kandemiri who claimed to have protection from Zanu PF bigwigs in the province.

The council sought an eviction order at the High Court against the invaders after police refused to intervene.
In its latest council minutes, the municipality said Donnington Police Station had been given “the eviction order from the courts. However, they were still consulting before they gave council a date to remove squatters from Emganwini Farm”.

It is not clear who the police were consulting.

The eviction order was granted late last year.

On Monday municipal officials together with the police burnt down illegal structures including that of Kandemiri and evicted the occupants.

Kandemiri, a former nurse, was taken away by police and briefly detained at Donnington Police Station.

The illegal settlers were ferried to various destinations where they were dumped by council authorities.

War veterans in Bulawayo this week vowed to confront council accusing it of taking a “political decision in evicting landless people”.

George Mlala, a war veterans leader in Bulawayo, said their efforts of engaging the municipality have been thwarted.

“Several attempts of engaging the mayor (Thaba Moyo) have been in vain. He is fully booked, we are told. Council has created a humanitarian crisis that has roped in Matabeleland South province,” he said.

The illegal settlers were dumped 10 km away.

Mlala said they would “take appropriate action” if council authorities refused to meet them.


Nqobile Bhebhe

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