On the 10th of June 2020, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) visited Chikukwa village, under Chief Chiweshe, in ward 9 of Mashonaland Central Province to verify cases involving abuse of office and illegal sale of land by the local village head.
This came after concerned villagers contacted ZimRights seeking assistance. ZimRights visited the village, 80km outside Harare and managed to interview 5 of the victims who incuded 3 elderley women and 2 men. These victims complained against the headmen whom they accused of abusing his authority by seeking to forcefully evict the villagers from the village. Furthermore, the villagers claim that the headman abused funds from a monthly tax that the villagers pay.
The village head is said to be using the evictions notices to pave way for desperate home seekers, from outside, whom he would charge for a piece of land in the village. The villagers claim that the land is their ancestral and pastoral land in so doing, the village head is overstepping his traditional bounds.
The village head’s past seems to be dogged by controversy as he is said to have ordered the burial of an 85-year old villager who had died under unclear circumstances, without a police report. In addition, the local Village Development Committee (VIDCO) said the village head converted to personal use, communal funds that had been raised to purchase a communal gas stove that was supposed to be used at community gatherings.
The villagers lodged a complaint with Chief Negomo on the 28th of March 2020 who responded by suspending the village headman. However, the village head returned to his duties as he was said to be under Chief Chiweshe, ZimRights then contacted Chief Chiweshe who highlighted that he would need to gather full information and evidence before he could try to solve the matter.
Report Issued by
Nzimba K. (Mr)
Provincial Chairperson, Mashonaland Central