Zimbabwean villagers who were evicted from Manzou farm in Mazowe in 2015 to pave way for the then first lady Grace Mugabe have reportedly been awarded more than $30 000 as compensation by the court.
The villagers were evicted in spite of a court order granting them reprieve to stay on the farm until government secured alternative land for them.
During the forced evictions, police destroyed homesteads, household furniture and the villagers' crops, including maize grain and groundnuts, reports said.
Through their human rights lawyer, Noble Chinhau, the villagers led by Leonard Mukoore, demanded compensation for loss of property and dignity they suffered.
In court papers filed at the Bindura magistrates court, the families accused the police of evicting them without a court order.
Court orders Home Affairs Minister, #ZRP Commissioner-General and 6 police officers who destroyed Manzou villagers' homesteads & property to compensate the families . The villagers were forced to evict in 2015 under instruction from former First Lady Grace Mugabe. pic.twitter.com/Q5FQNBIwWr— Star FM Zimbabwe (@StarfmZimbabwe) March 1, 2018
Chinhau cited Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu, Acting police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and six junior cops as respondents.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Bindura magistrates' court issued a judgement against Mpofu, police commission and the six junior cops this week.
The court said that Mpofu and the police commissioner were liable for the more than $30 000 compensation.
"We hope that by the end of March this year all judgements will be delivered and we expect the cited authorities to pay the damages as indicated by the court," said Kumbirai Mafunda from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights was quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle.