Shangani Ethnic and Linguistic Minority Group of Zimbabwe Challenges Government on Evictions

In a historic case, the Shangani ethnic and linguistic minority group of Zimbabwe today challenged the government of Zimbabwe’s eviction orders from their ancestral lands to make way for a commercial irrigation scheme.

In February 2021, the Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development passed Statutory Instrument (SI) 50 of 2021 which sought to evict 13 840 Shangani villagers from their ancestral lands to make way for a large commercial irrigation scheme.

The Shangani people, now commonly referred to as the Chilonga villagers argue that the Communal Lands Act of Zimbabwe denies them the right to self-determination as Africans in Zimbabwe and that the piece of legislation has no room in post-independent Zimbabwe. They are specifically challenging Section 4 and Section 6(1)(b) of the Communal Lands Act arguing that the two sections are unconstitutional and offend some provisions of the Constitution. The Chilonga villagers, who are farmers grow sorghum, maize and millet.

Their case was heard today in the High Court of Zimbabwe and judgement was reserved.

For more details see: Villagers in Zimbabwe face loss of land, livelihoods (aa.com.tr)

Chilonga Evictions Show Government Insensitivity (hrw.org)

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