By Correspondent

Sixty-six (66) Masvingo villagers accused of illegally occupying state land have been acquited at Masvingo Magistrate’s Court.

The villagers were found not guilty by Magistrate Farai Gwitima at the close of the State’s case.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights represented them.

“We have ended the persecution of 66 villagers in Masvingo province, who were on trial for illegally occupying state land without authority, by getting them acquitted at the close of the prosecution case.

According to the State, the villagers illegally occupied part of Great Zimbabwe University over 20 years ago.

This was during the Land Resettlement program.

The villagers were however arrested on 22 January and charged with occupying gazetted land without lawful authority.

However, Magistrate Gwitima ruled that prosecutors failed to prove the existence of a government gazette entitling government to ownership of the pieces of the land.

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