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HomeNewsOpposition Leader Calls for Urgent Action to Address Land Barons’ Exploitation

Opposition Leader Calls for Urgent Action to Address Land Barons’ Exploitation

Opposition Freedom of Rights Under Sovereign (FORUS) party president Irene Manyara Muyenziwa has condemned what she terms ‘relentless destruction of homes’ in several provinces across the country.

In video message, Muyenziwa highlighted the plight of citizens in Masvingo, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, and Mashonaland Provinces, where illegal settlements created by land barons have led to evictions and labeled residents as squatters, despite having received the land from Chiefs and other authorities.

“It is heartbreaking that people who have lived for years in their homes are now being evicted and labelled as squatters, even though they were given the land by the Chiefs and other authorities. The government must show compassion and respect for the citizens and ensure that their welfare is paramount.

“Recently, we mourned the loss of lives when homes were submerged in water during heavy rains that triggered flash floods. This was a consequence of land barons who allocated people in wetlands, without regard for their safety. We also saw the ruthless demolition of thousands of houses built on unlawfully-acquired land or on unsuitable sites like wetlands by the local government over the years. Many families have been rendered homeless and impoverished, with no alternative shelter or compensation,” said Muyenziwa


The FORUS party president demanded urgent and decisive action from the government to address the crisis calling for the regularization of illegal settlements.

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“FORUS Party demands that the government take urgent and decisive action to address the issue of land barons and safeguard the rights and interests of the citizens. The government must regularize those settlements deemed illegal and allow people to continue living peacefully, knowing that they have stayed for so many years and invested in their homes. The government must also provide adequate services and infrastructure to these settlements, such as water, electricity, roads, and schools.

“The government must conduct a thorough audit of all land transactions and allocations in the country, and expose and prosecute all land barons and their accomplices, regardless of their political affiliation or position. The government must also recover all the proceeds of crime from these land barons and use them to compensate the victims of their actions.

Furthermore, Muyenziwa underscored the importance of respecting the authority of traditional leaders and local communities in land matters, enforcing existing laws, and enacting comprehensive policies on urban and rural planning to prevent further abuse of land.

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