An elderly woman from Chigodora communal lands in Manicaland Province recently appeared at Headman Chigodora’s court for selling State land to desperate home-seekers.
The Manica Post reported that Idah Kaserera allegedly subdivided and sold residential stands in the Chitakatira area of Mutare to eight land seekers for US$1 000 each.
She also pocketed US$200 more from each land seeker to create access roads to their stands.
The community court heard that all in all, Kaserera pocketed $9 600 from the land seekers.
In justifying her actions, Kaserera told the court that the land belongs to her family and therefore she could dispose of it as she pleases. She said:
I sold my land after we gathered that the council wanted to repossess the land for residential purposes since it is in a peri-urban area.
I did nothing wrong and went on to charge the road fee as is the norm in all urban settlements.
The land is paid for in urban settlements, while residents have to pay for their roads to be serviced.
It was not fair for me to peg the road without receiving anything from the land seekers.
Some of the land seekers claimed that Kaserera sold them land that belongs to her sons, Evson and Walter Kaserera, who now want their land back.
Headman Chigodora fined Kaserera US$2 400 for selling State land and also ordered her to reimburse the eight land seekers their money by 30 June 2023. Said headman Chigodora:
This is State land and should never be sold. If you felt that you no longer wanted the land, you should have surrendered it back to Government through the village head and traditional leadership. Instead, you sold it to unsuspecting land seekers.
It is either you pay the fine or reimburse the land seekers their money and let them stay for free on that land.
If you opt to pay the fine and evict them, you still have to reimburse them the money they paid for the land and the expenses they incurred in developing the land.
She said she would inform her children about the court ruling and decide on the next course of action.
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