The government has issued a stern warning on all illegal settlers occupying rural state land that those who fail to vacate such land by Tuesday next week will be evicted and prosecuted.

In an ultimatum issued by the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Dr Douglas Mombeshora, anyone who is still occupying rural state land without lawful authority are committing a serious crime.

“Starting from Tuesday next week, all those who have not vacated should pack their belongings or risk being evicted and prosecuted,” the Minister warned.

The ultimatum comes amid reports that illegal settlers continue to occupy un-designated rural state land with some being duped of their hard earned cash by land barons who promise to protect them.

The government also urged all legally settled farmers to report any encroachment on their land to their district and land offices.