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Epworth ‘land barons’ dragged to court

By Anesu Chakabva

Nine suspects have appeared at the Harare Civil Court for illegally occupying State land reserved for industrial purposes in Epworth.

The court heard that the Epworth Local Board, which is responsible for the administration of State land in the area, demarcated a certain piece of land in Ward 4 and zoned it as an industrial area.

Tendai Bande, Didmus Bande, Emmanuel Katsotso, Gilbert Gidza, Samuel Shumbamhini, George Kondo, Geofrey Chirima, Musindisi Moyo and Simbarashe Mucheza went on to illegally occupy the land.

They started building houses and are refusing to vacate.

This prompted the Epworth Local Board to approach the civil court seeking an order to evict them with the help of the police.

“The allocation of stands for various facilities such as residential, industrial and commercial has caused Epworth to emerge as a structured development area as opposed to the haphazard occupation of land that was there before,” the local authority argued.

Magistrate Mrs Barbara Mateko deferred the case to May 15. The Herald