VP Phelekezela Mphoko is evicting villagers at Tshayile area in Bubi, Matabeleland North province because he wants to build his mansion on top of a mountain that lies on their land.

A number of villagers staged a demonstration yesterday, protesting against the plans to grab their land at Shilloh Farm, adjacent to Mphoko’s Mdlawuzo Farm. A portion of Mdlawuzo Mountain lies in Mphoko’s Farm, while the remainder falls under Shilloh Farm, where the villagers were resettled in 2000 during the land reform exercise.

According to the villagers, Mphoko’s plans to expand his property to 2 000 hectares beyond his boundary will see them losing Tshayile Primary School, farming and grazing lands, the sole borehole and nutritional garden funded under the Australian Direct Aid Programme.

“We are totally against the VP’s plans to grab our lands. The VP has not officially communicated to us why he is expanding into our area. He only sent an SMS to the village head, informing him about his plans,” Levy Ncube, secretary of Tshayile villagers’ committee told the Southern Eye during a visit to the area yesterday.
The area councillor, Smatch Mlalazi said they have approached various government departments seeking help to stop Mphoko without success.