AT least 90 farmers who were allocated land under the controversial land reform programme at Greenland in Beatrice, face an uncertain future after the government recently served them with eviction orders.
Most of the affected farmers moved into the area in 2002 at the height of the land reform exercise.
However, they were left shocked early this month when they received eviction letters from the ministry of lands and rural development.
The letters were signed by permanent secretary, Grace Mutandiri who ordered the farmers to leave the plots within 90 days of receiving the notice.
In her letter, Mutandiri said government was withdrawing the offer letters but gave no further details.
Most of the farmers have thriving tobacco and maize crops.
The disgruntled farmers have since approached the Mashonaland East provincial affairs minister, Ambrose Mutinhiri and Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairman, Biggie Joel Matiza, to intervene and halt the evictions.
“We have tried various means to find out why the government wants us to move but to no avail. That is why we have approached the provincial leadership to intervene to stop the evictions, which we deem illegal,” one of the affected farmers said Friday.
The evictions come at a time when the Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial leadership is making frantic efforts to find land to allocate to youths and war veterans as reward for helping the party to remove the previous executive led by Ray Kaukonde.
Kaukonde was accused of supporting then Vice President Joice Mujuru’s alleged bid to unseat President Robert Mugabe.
At the end of last year, some 26 other plot holders at Waterberry in Chivhu, in the same province, were forced by the government to downsize their land in order to accommodate new comers.
When the Waterberry farmers tried to resist the directive, provincial lands ministry officials threatened to shoot them.
The new farmers reportedly don’t have papers to prove that their move was sanctioned by the government.-AllAfrica