MASVINGO a�� Zaka Rural District Council (RDC) is planning to approach the courts to seek legal sanction for the eviction of 50 families that settled a�?illegallya�? on land the local authority has earmarked for expansion of the growth point.
But the families have vowed not to move and dismissed council claims that they were illegal settlers saying they were allocated the land by their village heads well before independence in 1980.
Zaka RDC chief executive officer (CEO), David Majaura, confirmed the stand-off saying: a�?The families built illegal structures and we advised them to leave but they refused.
a�?We served them with letters but we have not received any objection from them. They should pave way for the expansion of the growth point. We are going to approach the courts any time soon over the matter,a�? he said.
The local authority ordered the villagers to vacate the area before the end of last month to facilitate the expansion of the growth point.
But the families have vowed to stay put.
a�?There is no way we are going to vacate the place, we are also in the process of engaging legal representation on the matter, a�? said Luke Magonese.
Council, the villagers suggested, should consider incorporating their homesteads in the new Zaka development plan instead of trying to force them off their land.
a�?We are not illegal settlers, we were allocated these pieces of land legally by our headman,a�? said one of the villagers.
a�?Council should be incorporating us in their new master plan and provide us with guides on which structures they want us to develop for the area not for us to leave the place completely.a�? a�� Online.