Matobo Villagers face victimization for defending their land

The information contained here is according to the accounts of the villagers

  1. In January 2020 there are people (names to be verified) who came to the village through the Village Head and sought permission to mine gold in the communal area. The villagers refused and their reasons being:
  2. The area is a communal land which is used for grazing
  3. The area is where the community get their drinking water
  4. The specific site is an abandoned homestead with graves and the child of the late homestead owners have communicated intention to rebuild the home.
  5. On 01 September 2020 a group of 8 people came to start mining in the community claiming that they got rights to mine in the area and claim to be mining for senior people
  6. On 6 September 2020 there was a meeting where District officials came to address the situation but the makorokozas refused to leave and began threatening villagers with disappearance.
  7. On 13 September 2020 the locals teamed up and evicted the miners from their community, then in the evening a truck of riot police came to Chapo shops and began beating people and the locals retaliated and the police had to use teargas.
  8. Later the same evening they began looking for specific individuals from their homes and arrested two men. It is not clear where they were taken but the police car they were put in was written FIGTREE.
  9. Most of the villagers who were targeted fled their homes and slept in the mountains. One villager narrated how police invaded his home and forced his grandchildren to look for him or else they arrest them.

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