The Local Government minister, July Moyo, has ordered an estimated 1,000 families settled on some 13,000 hectares in Chiredzi to move and pave way for a Lucerne grass project meant to feed cattle under a dairy project.
The government directive, though, does not provide resettlement options for the evictees.
Dendairy, a company located in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s home town of Kwekwe in the Midlands province, owns the project.
It is a milk and fruit juice products entity and was founded in 2004. Retail giant, Pick ‘n Pay, owns a 25 percent stake, while the remainder belongs to Meikles Africa Limited.
The order is contained in Statutory Instrument 50 of 2021 that was gazetted last Friday (26 February 2021).
The legal instrument says every affected person “is ordered to depart permanently with all of his or her property from the said land by the date of publication of this notice, unless he or she acquires rights of use of occupation to the said land in terms of section (9) (1) of the Communal Land Act (Chapter (20:04)”.
The Sengwe traditional leadership whose land has been affected by the displacements protested the evictions prior to the gazetting of the statutory instrument, arguing that the local community was not consulted.