By Patrick Chitumba
There has been another murder at Chemagora farms in Gokwe South after two illegal settlers at Farm 26 brutally killed the son of the property owner following a dispute over pastures.
Last month, a farm owner Mr George Jongwe was killed in cold blood by 14 illegal settlers at his farm after he had allegedly shot one of them dead while attempting to evict them from his property in Chemagora.
In an interview, Mr Dumapi Tutani who is the Chemagora Small Scale Commercial Farmers’ Union chairperson confirmed the death of Collen Klasi on Saturday afternoon.
“I can confirm that Collen Klasi the eldest son of Mr Wellington Klasi and owner of Klasi farm 26 Chemagora was brutally murdered on Saturday afternoon at his father’s farm by two illegal settlers after a dispute over pastures. Collen was in the company of a minor while herding cattle when he met his fate,” he said.
Mr Tutani said the illegal settlers who are at large allegedly armed themselves with machetes and axes which they used to kill Collen.
He said they first attacked seven cattle which Collen was herding inflicting deep cuts on them before turning on him.
“The suspected criminals are known to us as illegal settlers. They invaded part of Mr Klasi’s farm and attacked Collen accusing him of letting his cattle stray into their grazing area. Collen suffered deep cuts on his head,” said Mr Tutani.
He said the suspected murderers were once taken to court by Mr Klasi for invading his farm but were refusing to leave the farm.
Gokwe South District Administrator Mr Steward Gwatiringa confirmed the incident but said he was still to get facts.
He said Government which is in the process of working on evicting illegal settlers has to date issued over 200 eviction letters to flush them out of Chemagora farms.
Acting Midlands provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende referred this publication to the national police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi who was not reachable.
The illegal settlers have been occupying about 54 000 hectares of black-owned farms and have been caught up in a land row which at times saw their houses being torched by the deputy sheriff after the land owners were granted eviction orders by the courts.
Government at one time earmarked 35 000 hectares of land in Chirisa Game Reserve for the resettlement of Chemagora families and other families from Gokwe South and Gokwe North. However, chiefs in Gokwe successfully objected, demanding that their subjects should be given first priority. The Chronicle