Sunday 26 August 2018


A FAMILY from Bulawayo has for the past three years been living under squalid conditions in one of the city’s infamous squatter camps in Killarney after being evicted from a property it inherited from former employers in 2014.

The family, which requested not to be named for fear of victimisation, said it had no other option but to live in a squatter camp, as they had nowhere or anyone to turn to. However, they are armed with title deeds to the property.

The property in question is in Cement Siding situated along the Bulawayo-Harare Road and belonged to the McCallum family, which has since demised, with only one family member (name supplied) surviving and living in an old people’s home.

The head of the family, who is warmly known as Suffer in the squatter camp said he worked for the family since he was a young boy and inherited the property, after the demise of Mr McCallum, who had instructed his children to hand over the land to him when they had no use for it.

Suffer even produced title deeds and a letter to that effect to Sunday News, saying because of his lack of education he had been victimised and led to believe he could do nothing to win the property back.

“It has been a long three years; my children don’t know the warmth of four walls only the unbearable conditions of a shack. It is difficult for them to fathom these conditions, as we are prone to many things, crime and diseases. I worked for the McCallum family for years, when he was about to die, he instructed his children to hand over the property to me, once they saw or felt that they had no use for it.

“The last family member one day before she left, called me and we had a long discussion of the events to unfold pertaining the inheritance. She told me that she was no longer capable of fending for herself and that as her father had requested she was handing the property to me with all the title deeds,” he said.

Suffer said after the departure of the last McCallum, he assumed full control of the property, only to be evicted by people whom he described as violent and unbecoming.

“We lived for nearly a year before some men came to evict us. They told us that the property belonged to them and that we should vacate as soon as possible. We were thrown out like dogs, with our property strewn all over the yard. The men who identified themselves as Fushayi and Nyathi, said even if we reported them to the police nothing would be done to them as they were highly connected to senior politicians,” said Suffer before breaking into tears.

He said he had hope of returning to the property with the aid of the law.

“It is my wish and hope to see my family return to our property. This life is difficult and you can see how these few years living under such conditions have left me. I do menial work and so does my wife just to try and get by but it is not enough.

“I know on the plot I could have grown vegetables and even kept livestock to fend for my family. It is my hope that what I am telling you lands on the right ears, as we have suffered and are suffering yet we have a property,” said Suffer.

Sunday News visited the property in question, only to be greeted by people who appeared to be gold panners. They said the property had been lying idle for about a year now and didn’t know whom it belonged to. Sunday News


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