MORE than 400 families at Badminton Farm in Nyamandlovu were yesterday left stranded after their homes were razed by the Sheriff of the High Court.
A Chronicle news crew observed scores of villagers wailing hopelessly, saying they have nowhere to go.
The villagers said Chief Deli settled them on the farm in 2011.
One of the victims, Molly Ndlovu, 68, said she did not expect such treatment in independent Zimbabwe.
She said she fought for the country’s liberation and was stranded with her 85-year-old sister she looks after.
Two resettled villagers were arrested while trying to stop the Sheriff from setting fire to their homesteads.
The families have since filed a court application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order stopping Badminton Block Company (Pvt) Ltd from evicting them from the farm until the Minister of Land and Rural Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora had secured alternative land for them.
The villagers alleged Chief Deli claimed the land was under his jurisdiction and he had powers to settle people.
“The applicants and their families consequently settled on the farm and established a livelihood thereon. We went on to build structures and shelter on the land and we also engaged ourselves in various agricultural activities to support our families,” said Mkandla, one of the villagers.
The villagers said Badminton Block Company did not serve them with court papers, resulting in it obtaining an eviction order under case number HC938/15 granted in default.
They said they only became aware of the order when Badminton Block Company sought to execute it with the assistance of police.
The villagers said they have since made a request to Minister Mombeshora to have the farm gazetted in terms of the law.
Badminton Block Company, in its opposing papers through lawyers Webb, Low and Barry, said the land occupied by the applicants was its private land held under deed of transfer number 5096/90.
The company argued that Chief Deli had no lawful authority to allocate the land.