Goromonzi residents seek clarification on land disputes

HARARE - Goromonzi residents have demanded an open meeting with the rural council officials to explain the land disputes in the area.

The residents represented by Simukai Rural Residents Trust, have asked that the council come and clarify the issue of communal land.

John Masimba Manyanya told the Daily News that the council was taking people for granted.

“We are challenging the council to come forth and define the various laws that apply to reserves. They are now misusing the law to their own advantage at the detriment of those who have been staying in the area,” Manyanya said.

He also said that the people were not against development of the area but needed to be told of the kinds of developments that will be going on in the area and seek a way forward together.

Manyanya highlighted that council programmes that directly affected people should be discussed with the affected parties before any action is taken.

A council official who refused to be named said people should know that reserved land is State land that is put aside by the government for use.

“In the event that the land is being needed for use, people will be told to vacate the area so that it will be used for what it was being saved for. No one has a right to that land,” he said.

He also urged residents to familiarise themselves with the Communal Lands Act and what reserves are before concluding on the matter.

According to the law if any person is dispossessed of or suffers any diminution of his right to occupy or use the land he shall so far as is reasonable be given a right to occupy or use alternative land.

The statute also implies that “if no alternative land is available and no agreement has been reached as to compensation, Parts V and VIII of the Land Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10], shall apply, mutatis mutandis (necessary changes), in respect of such dispossession or diminution”.

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