Zimrights Threatens Legal Action Over Demolished Buhera Homesteads

A Zimbabwean human rights organisation, ZimRights, has threatened to take legal action against a Buhera village headman and law-enforcement agents who last week demolished 28 homesteads in Chief Mafusire area accusing the villagers of being illegal settlers.

The demolitions left about 300 people homeless and without food after their homes were destroyed by police and a Deputy Sheriff from Chivhu.

ZimRights Manicaland regional council chairperson Passmore Nyakureba told NewsDay Tuesday that they had established that the High Court eviction order used in the demolitions was supposed to affect only 14 people at the centre of a boundary dispute between headmen Mafuruse and Marambanyika.

“A combo of rights have been violated including the right to property, shelter and education,” Nyakureba said.

“The right to human dignity as outlined in the constitution was also violated as these people were treated inhumanly. They have a right to human dignity.

“Our head office is going to engage the relevant authorities to urgently look into the plight of the villagers. We are also gathering resources for the assistance of the villagers.”

Nyakureba added: “There should be a remedy of reparation of the rights violated against the police and the Deputy Sheriff. This will be discussed with the relevant legal partners of ZimRights.”

Most of the affected villagers are reportedly still staying in the open and surviving on food handouts from their peers after their properties were destroyed.

Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) last week condemned the demolitions as inhuman and threatened to take up the issue with provincial government authorities.

Manicaland provincial administrator Fungai Mbetsa and the Provincial Affairs minister Chris Mushowe could not be reached for comment Tuesday.