Thursday, 28 November 2019

Villager Shot Dead In Land Dispute


A DISPUTE over land turned fatal at Ariston Holdings’ Roscommon Estate in Chimanimani on Monday after a security guard gunned down a villager and injured another.

Police and Ariston Holdings confirmed the incident yesterday.

Roscommon Estate produces world acclaimed niche red tea Wanganella.

It is also into macadamia, coffee and potato production. The company runs four other estates across the country, namely Claremount, Kent, Clearwater and Southdown.

The company has been at loggerheads with villagers since 2002 after part of its estate was gazetted by Government.
This paved way for its allocation to the landless.

“They (Ariston Holdings) asked for a grace period saying they wanted to harvest their crop but they continued on the farm to date creating friction with new farmers who had been allocated the land,” a source told The Herald.

Relations between the company and the villagers broke down after it allegedly destroyed their crops and banana plantations recently.

 Villagers’ homes were also destroyed.
This was after the company obtained a court order granting it permission to evict the settlers.

“On November 19 the Messenger of Court came to evict the settlers. When they came, the district lands committee was engaging the company to try and find an amicable solution. They started destroying some structures. On Monday morning the company sent its employees to destroy the people’s banana plantations and other crops,” added the source.
Some homes were also destroyed.

“Last night those who had their homes destroyed decided to go to the estate to safeguard their belongings. A security guard identified as Nicholas Bere fired at the villagers, killing Mr Beware Tsarai. He injured Mr Shingai Mafake.

 Mr Mafake was rushed to Mutambara Hospital where he is admitted. Mr Tsarai’s body was taken to a mortuary in Chipinge. Bere was arrested and faces a murder charge,” said the source.

Manicaland deputy police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luxon Chananda confirmed the incident yesterday.State media
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