from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
BULAWAYO, (CAJ News) – AN intervention by the courts has halted plans by the Zimbabwean government to evict 100 villagers to make way for a motor-racing course.
High Court Judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa has stopped the arbitrary eviction of the villagers in Hwange.
Stelix Civils had been granted a lease agreement by Hwange Rural District Council and was allocated land for the purposes of developing a Formula One grade motor racing course and proceeded to fence off 500 hectares of land in an area which villagers of Chibode, Kachecheti and Nemananga wards use as grazing area for their livestock.
The motor racing course was to be constructed on land that the villagers use as grazing land and also use to sustain their livelihoods.
In the application, the villagers argued that their livelihoods would be affected as a result of the development of the racing course and they would not be able to survive in their villages.
The villagers argued that they were not consulted and were not offered alternative land and hence Stelix Civils’ conduct amounts to arbitrary eviction, which violates of the Constitution.
After being aggrieved by the decision of Hwange Rural District Council, the more than 100 engaged Josephat Tshuma of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who in 2021 filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court to review the decision by Hwange Rural District Council.
Justice Kabasa has ruled that the decision made by the local was unlawful.
– CAJ News