Binga villagers take Chombo to court

BULAWAYO - Four villagers from Binga have taken Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo (pictured) to court seeking the nullification of a master plan drawn to build a business centre at Siansundu Village.

The move could result in villagers being evicted from the only place they have called home for decades.

Binga Rural District Council chief executive officer and the District Administrator are cited as first and second respondents respectively while the provincial administrator and Local Government minister are cited as third and fourth respondents respectively.

The applicants led by Siansundu village head Jameson Mkombe through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (Zlhr) last Friday approached the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order against the decision which they described as “unlawful and should be discontinued henceforth”.

Applicants say the conduct of the respondents does not only defeat logic but violates their constitutionally enshrined rights.

Some of the applicants on the mater include Aaron Mdimba, Evelyn Mudenda and Emion Mupande.

In his founding affidavit, Mkombe said the entire Siansundu community have only known this place as their home therefore displacing them violated their rights.

“I have lived here since birth. Before I was born, my parents lived in the same village their entire adult lives as such the Siansundu community has been in existence for decades,” the village head said.

Mkombe said it was disheartening that since 1985 the first respondent had been allocating land belonging to the community to other people for different purposes without consulting the villagers.

The applicant said his legal counsel, Lizwe Jamela, had been shown the master plan of Siansundu Village which was developed in 1998 where a church and what is termed a Rural Service Centre composed of a post office, supermarket, commercial offices and residential stands will be constructed.

“All these things are planned on our existing homesteads as though our homesteads do not exist. Should this be implemented it means the entire village will be displaced.”

This, amounted to an arbitrary eviction, Mkombe said, as villagers will be forced to relocate when the imminent construction process begins.

According to the application, the village comprises 126 homesteads with a total of

1 135 people, the majority being the elderly and young children who economically and physically are not in a position to start afresh.

The applicants further said it was clear from the master plan that there is a lot of vacant land away from the area chosen raising questions why the rural district council would prefer an already occupied area.

Comments (5)

Taking people for granted! When was the consultative process carried as part of a development planning process. People being treated like wild animals. Get your house in order you stupid Chombo!!!

Garikayi - 25 March 2015

guys lets be serious, where is taking people for granted coming in, it is a known plethora that all land in the coutry is state land and or reserves, we are only in the reserves on temporary basis there fore if there is any development to take place yu can be removed to pave way for development, that is why also most people build temporary pole and dagga houses, for those with good houses i see no problem in the houses incoorporated into the layouts, but for those other house that do not fit into the urban setup haaaa ngavabviswe, "DEVELOPMENT FOR EVER" dont politicise thi issue plz

dziks - 25 March 2015

Thanx dziks for shedding some light to some of our negative about everything compatriots.Its not all that the government does that is negative even though we know that some Ministers like Mr Chombo have a mess to sort out.Chakanaka chakanaka mukaka haurungwe varume.We need to have unity of purpose and common understanding of things.That is the best a citizen can do for the betterment of his country

carson macate - 25 March 2015

moved to where, u hev to tek into consideration the elderly ,they cant start afresh nw.

yul - 8 April 2015

moved to where, u hev to tek into consideration the elderly ,they cant start afresh nw.

yul - 8 April 2015

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