The High Court in Harare has dismissed an application filed by villagers from Chilonga communal lands who were challenging government plans to evict them from their ancestral lands.

This landmark case challenges Sections 4&6 of the Communal Lands Act, which vests rural land in the President.

This was based on an application filed by some Chilonga villagers challenging govt’s plans to evict more than 12 000 villagers from their ancestral land in Chiredzi to pave way for a commercial irrigation venture.

Represented by Tendai Biti of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights the Chilonga villagers argued that the law was a colonial relic premised on a racist notion that an African could not own land.

The villagers also argued that the Communal Lands Act is a racist & a colonial creature which regards Africans as too uncivilised as to own land.

The villagers queried how an African can own a house in Harare’s plush suburb of Borrowdale but he cannot own his ancestral home in areas such as Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Dotito, Chendambuya, Nkayi or Tsholotsho.