EX.CL/717 (XX) Page 147 ANNEX IV DECISIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS Communication 306/05 – Samuel T. Muzerengwa and 110 Others (represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights) v Zimbabwe Summary of the Complaint 1. The Complaint is filed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (the Complainant) on behalf of one Samuel T. Muzerengwa and 110 families (the victims), against the Republic of Zimbabwe (the Respondent State). 2. The Complainant alleges that on 16 December 1998, the Buhera Rural District Council at a Council meeting decided that Samuel T Muzerengwa’s village (hereinafter the “Wakarambwa Village”) was situated in the lands of another village called Nyararai Village headed by Mungofa Gotora. In its decision the Council resolved that the Wakarambwa’s village should immediately move out of the land it occupied. No alternative land was provided even though the decision to evict was reached in terms of the Rural District Act (29:13) which allows the District Councils of each district to allocate land to individuals who are resident or originate from that district, if there is an unoccupied land. 3. The Complainant avers that the dispute of ownership of the said land dates back to the colonial era, when the land had been declared a quarantine land, and was reserved for livestock grazing. Residents of Nyararai Village hail from the family of the paramount chieftaincy of Nyashanu, which is the reigning family in the Buhera area. In 1975, the head of the Nyararai Village applied to the District Administrator and the Ministry of Local Government to establish a sub chieftaincy. The request was granted and they proceeded to establish the Nyararai Village. Furthermore, the Complainant claims that during this period, families of the Wakarambwa Village had already settled in the area or as it were, they encroached on the land, which was reserved for Nyararai Village. 4. With a view to decide on the dispute that ensued between the two families over the ownership of the land, the Buhera Rural District Council held three meetings. During the first meeting the members of the Council failed to reach a decision and decided to visit the area and analyze the maps of the same. When they went to inspect the land the Wakarambwa’s refused to have the land inspected, and this was found to be in violation of the procedure of the Buhera District Council. Accordingly, at the next meeting the Council after taking into consideration a number of issues ruled that the Wakarambwa Village headed by Samuel Muzerengwa had unlawfully occupied and encroached into the land of Nyararai Village. The Council also resolved to evict the petitioners and instructed the complainant to seek court orders to the same.

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