By Peter Bolder|
The Zimbabwean High Court on Monday ordered the government to immediately stop evicting villagers from a farm that is targetted for takeover by president Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe.
High Court judge Erica Ndewere made the ruling after six villagers from Arnold farm in Mazowe sued the authorities over last week’s military-style operation in which heavily armed riot police evicted 200 families and destroyed their homes.
“Justice Ndewere put brakes on the persecution of some Mazowe families by ordering government authorities to stop demolishing their housing structures and evicting them,” Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda said.
The order was made against home affairs and lands ministers Kembo Mohadi and Douglas Mombeshora as well as police commissioner Augustine Chihuri.
“Justice Ndewere faulted government authorities for violating the Mazowe villagers’ constitutional rights after razing down their homes during a demolition exercise which was rolled out since early last week,” Mafunda said.
The judge said the villagers’ rights had been violated after police evicted them without a court order, in violation of Section 74 of the constitution.
Ndewere said the villagers should remain in “peaceful occupation” of the farm.
Reports said Grace Mugabe wanted to turn the farm into a game reserve. Four hundred other families were evicted in 2013 in violation of another court order.
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