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CASE ALERT:ZELA FILES TWO CASES ON BEHALF OF CHILONGA COMMUNITY

05 MARCH 2021

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) has today filed two court applications simultaneously at Masvingo High Court on behalf of Chilonga Community. One is an urgent chamber application to interdict the displacement of the Chilonga community and the other is an ordinary court application seeking to declare section 10 of the Communal Land Act and SI 50 of 2021 unconstitutional.  

Sometime in 2020 the Government through the Ministry of Local Development, Urban and Rural Development proposed to evict inhabitants of the indigenous people of the Chilonga community (12 500), who reside in Chiredzi District, the South Eastern Part of Zimbabwe. The Chilonga Community has consistently experienced numerous displacements both from the colonial and post-independence governments. On the 26th of February 2021, the Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development published Statutory Instrument 50 of 2021 in terms of Section 10 of the Communal Lands Act [Chapter 20:04]. The Statutory Instrument orders the Chilonga community inhabitants to permanently depart from the land with all their belongings by the date of publication of the notice.

URGENT CHAMBER APLICATION

To protect the Community against the imminent eviction, ZELA has filed an urgent chamber application seeking an interim interdict against the relevant authorities, barring the eviction of all communities affected by Statutory instrument 50 of 2021 pending the determination of the Constitutional challenge filed by ZELA. If granted this will help Chilonga Community to remain in peaceful and undisturbed possession of their land while the constitutional challenge is pending in the courts.

COURT APPLICATION: CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE

In this case ZELA representing the Chilonga Community filed a court application seeking an order to set aside section 10 of the Communal Lands unconstitutional. ZELA further seeks, a declarator to the effect that, Statutory Instrument 50 of 2021 made from the same is also unconstitutional as it infringes the following rights:

  1. Right not to be subjected to arbitrary evictions.
  2. Right to Dignity.
  3. Right to Religion.
  4. Right to procedurally and substantively fair administrative justice.
  5. Right to property.

END//

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

“Celebrating two decades of Promoting Environmental justice through sustainable and equitable utilisation of natural resources and environmental protection”

CONTACT DETAILS:

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

26 B Seke Road, Hatfield,Harare,Zimbabwe

Website : www.zela.org  |Twitter: @ZELA_Infor | Facebook: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

Tel: +263 242 573 601-3

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