Masvingo Resident Minister Ezra Chadzamira defending government plans to displace 12 500 people in Chilonga communal lands in Chiredzi to accommodate a lucerne grass project.

The project is to be implemented by local dairy company Dendairy, which is allegedly run by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s associates.

The news that at least more than 12,000 villagers in Chilonga, Chiredzi, are facing imminent eviction from their ancestral lands to pave way for lucerne grass farming has caused public outcry.

Nortorn Independent Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa recently took the matter to Parliament, saying the issue of removing the Shangaan people of Chilonga from their ancestral land is bad and inhumane.

“The question is, have we now gotten to a point of reversing the Land Reform Programme where we now have to vacate our ancestral lands?

“I might as well go and inform saSabhuku inini, kuti chiendai zvenyu nekuti Hurumende ichakubvisai pano apa. What is the cost of 12 000 people vis-à-vis one farmer?” Asked Mliswa, adding that the Government has enough farms some of them being underutilised to be able to give.

“The Hon. Minister is embarking on an underutilisation programme that can identify farms. So why do we not wait for that process to happen? Identify and give to him but we cannot afford to reverse the Land Reform Programme, the gains of the struggle. The Indigenisation Empowerment Act, he repealed it again.

“What are the people of Zimbabwe going to be left with when the little that they have in land they do not have? My question is very clear, they are not illegal; they are legal. Is it now going to be a standard measure for the whole country? Can we now go as Members of Parliament to say kumaruwa kwamuri uku, Hurumende kana yakusvika pano, musavake inotora,” he added.

Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, responded: “Mliswa but he had misdirected himself in the sense that these people are being relocated to another place.

“He has misdirected himself as if this is a new way of doing things but the law that I cited allows the President to possess the land that you occupy if there is a project of national importance and the law has been in practice for a long time.”

-Zwnews/ TheNewsHawks