Harare – Villagers who had their homes and crops destroyed by police acting on behalf of Zimbabwe’s former first lady Grace Mugabe want an apology, says an online report.
The villagers of Manzou farm in Mazowe, north of Harare, were evicted by armed police in a series of operations launched in January 2015. The farm was allocated to Grace Mugabe, the wife of former president Robert Mugabe. He was forced to step down last November.
A court in the town of Bindura this week started handing down judgments ordering the police and government to compensate the villagers. Now they want an apology for Grace’s “cruelty”, says online news site New Zimbabwe.
Took refuge in the hills
“If she can’t come in person she must send the same people she used to torment us and say I am sorry,” said one of the villagers, Takaitei Chigayo. He said for the last two years he and his family had to take refuge in hills surrounding the farm.
Another villager King Maposa said their lives had been made “horrible and unbearable”.
‘Number one enemy’
“Only from two years ago when the police started demolishing our houses and lawyers took that to court that’s when the world got to know the cruelty of Grace Mugabe,” he said.
New Zimbabwe said all the villagers it spoke to wanted Grace to come and apologize to them, failing which “she will remain their number one enemy”.
Rights lawyers say a Bindura magistrate ordered the government to pay $30 000 worth of compensation to some of the affected villagers.