Collen Murahwa Herald Reporter
The Zimbabwe National Army yesterday said villagers, who settled at Lazy Nine in Shurugwi did so illegally and must move out as it is a cantonment area. In a statement, the Director Army Public Relations, Lt Col Alphios Makotore said the land in question was reserved for the army in 1978. “In response to media enquiries on the above subject, it is hereby officially stated that the areas mentioned are in a cantonment area,” he said.
“The area is an officially gazetted cantonment area as stipulated under the Government Gazette Notice No. 802/1978.”
Contrary to media reports that the people in question were being evicted without notice, Lt Col Makotore said notices were put up to allow the illegal settlers to move out amicably.
“The ZNA has put up notices to remind the illegally resettled villagers that they must vacate the area, according to Section 94 (2) of the Defence Act (Chapter 11:02), which states that any person who enters or remains in a protected area in contravention of any notice issued under sub-section (1) or who fails to comply with any obligation, condition or restriction imposed upon him by such notice shall be guilty of an offence,” he said.
“Whoever resettled those villagers did so without consulting the relevant military authorities, who could have shown the boundaries of the gazetted area.”
Lt Col Makotore said everything was aboveboard as the settlers were illegally resettled.
“In that regard, the eviction order stands because those villagers were illegally resettled. Furthermore, it is in the interest of the villagers’ safety that they vacate the area as stipulated by the notices put up by the Zimbabwe National Army authorities.”