The regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe has refused to provide restitution to thousands of families displaced by government’s takeover of the Marange diamond fields in the eastern Manicaland province.
According to a United States government human rights report, Mugabe’s government was in violation of the constitution, which “stipulates the government must compensate persons for improvements made on land subsequently taken by the government”.
The U.S. State Department global report on human rights said the constitutional provision was weak as it does not set a timeline for the delivery of compensation.
“The government rarely provided restitution or compensation for the taking of private property, and police did not take action against individuals who seized private property without having secured sanction from the state to do so. Support was uneven and inconsistent for households resettled from the allocated diamond mining grounds of Marange in Chiadzwa to a government-owned agricultural estate outside Mutare. As of year’s end, authorities had relocated more than 1,800 families, including dozens who did not obtain houses. Each household was entitled to receive $1,000 for relocation, although reportedly only a handful received the money. Most of the relocated families did not receive any compensation, while the government classified them as “people with no recognizable legal rights or claim to the land that they are occupying,” citing their former land as now state land, despite customary and traditional rights to the contrary. The government did not complete appraisal of the land and property lost by each family for the purpose of property restitution. In addition an estimated 2,510 families remained without a timeframe or destination for their impending relocation,” said the report.
The report also noted that government also failed to compensate most of the internally displaced persons relocated forcefully from the Tokwe-Mukosi area during flooding in February 2014. About 3,125 families were legally entitled to compensation.
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