Villagers Homes Destroyed

Some of the victims told Radio VOP that their lives had been ruined and they had no idea where to go since the youths had been given a go ahead by traditional leaders to evict them.

“About 50 Zanu (PF) youths and war veterans thronged my homestead at around 3am singing revolutionary songs and woke me up together with my family,” said Elliot Chauke. “When I got out I was ordered to sit down and got beaten briefly while they accused me of snubbing a meeting to teach villagers about the importance of the anti-sanctions petition.’’

He added that they then told him that the punishment for his offense was to get his huts torched. The war vets he said did not allow him to remove his property and other important documents in the houses that were eventually reduced to ashes.

Another victim, Lucia Matshilela, said she lost property over US$20 000 she had just bought after auctioning part of her herd as she was into a cattle ranching programme.

“I had just bought new furniture for my family, clothes and other things after selling some beasts from my cattle ranching programme that I have been doing over the past few years. They accused me of being a sell out because I didn’t attend a meeting that was held at Neshuro growth point where villagers were told about the sanctions petition. I was not aware of the meeting,” she said.

The victims said they had reported the matter to the police but no arrests has been made.

Police spokesperson, Tinaye Matake said: “I can’t comment on that because I have not received anything from Mwenezi.”