Communities in Action (CAP) is deeply concerned with the forced evictions, arrests and detention of the so called ‘illegal settlers’ in Masvingo province.

Masvingo Minister of Provincial affairs Ezra Chadzamira confirmed the operation that it would run from 10 January to 9 February 2024 which have resulted in the arrests of over 250 illegal settlers for allegedly contravening section 3 (1) which prohibits the occupation of land without lawful authority.

 CAP condemns in the strongest of terms these illegal forced evictions which are a clear violation of section 72 the Zimbabwean constitution.

We have observed that the so called ‘illegal settlers’ have been the indigenous settlers of the land for more than 5 years and in all 7 districts of Masvingo these settlers were decisively included on the delimitation report of 2023, voted for councilors and members of parliament in their respective districts. However, it has come to our attention that the areas were forced evictions are politically motivated since the populace on peri urban areas, allegedly voted for the opposition party CCC resulting in the minister of provincial winning with a slight margin thus the evictions are deemed as retribution for the 2023 harmonized elections.

We further note with great concern the violations of the fundamental human rights and freedoms as most of these forced evictions comes during the rainy season when most of the families have invested in agriculture, they are currently denied the right to access their fields, resulting in worsening living conditions in poverty stricken Masvingo province.

CAP acknowledges and fully commends the government of Zimbabwe to immediately put an end to the illegal arrests, detention and forced evictions of the suffering citizens within the Masvingo province and reallocate these settlers while respecting the fundamental human rights and freedoms as enshrined on part 2 of the Zimbabwean constitution

We also call upon minister of state and provincial affairs Ezra Chadzamira and ZRP to immediately put an end to this illegal operations.