Farm­ers at­tack chiefs for hi­jack­ing land al­lo­ca­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

money from re­set­tling vil­lagers on graz­ing land.

“Our big­gest prob­lem here is the in­tro­duc­tion of tra­di­tional lead­ers in the re­set­tle­ment ar­eas,” said Mr Ephraim Chikukutu.

“Tra­di­tional lead­er­ship since their in­tro­duc­tion have started al­lo­cat­ing peo­ple land in ar­eas that were re­served for graz­ing. Where do they get that author­ity from?”

An­other farmer, Mr Amon Chinyoka said while Gov­ern­ment em­barked on the fast track land re­form ex­er­cise to de­con­gest vil­lages, the prob­lem had resur­faced at the farms.

“When we were al­lo­cated land, the Min­istry of Lands and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment clearly de­mar­cated land for farm­ing, house con­struc­tion and graz­ing land.

“But the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment then came and said tra­di­tional lead­ers now have power to al­lo­cate land in the farms.

“We wit­nessed tra­di­tional lead­ers be­ing given cat­tle in re­turn for land al­lo­ca­tion, which is cor­rup­tion,” said Mr Chinyoka.

Mr Car­ring­ton Chizu added that farm­ers were now con­fused on who was sup­posed to have author­ity in the al­lo­ca­tion of land be­tween the Min­istry of Lands and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment and tra­di­tional lead­ers.

Added Mr Si­mon Ma­hosi: “We want the Land Com­mis­sion Bill to clearly state that al­lo­cat­ing land should be the pre­serve of Min­istry of Lands. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties should have noth­ing to do with land al­lo­ca­tion on farms.

“Tra­di­tional lead­ers should not seek to al­lo­cate peo­ple land that is al­ready oc­cu­pied. They are the rea­son there is a lot of con­flict now.”

The farm­ers also claimed that politi­cians in the prov­ince were al­lo­cat­ing land to their rel­a­tives while or­di­nary cit­i­zens strug­gled to get land.

Mr Send­cent Musariri said ev­ery cit­i­zen had rights to land, re­gard­less of their sta­tus or re­la­tions.

“We also have a prob­lem where there are farms that are still un­der the con­trol of white farm­ers, but it ap­pears there is no in­ten­tion on the part of those in lead­er­ship in the prov­ince to re­pos­sess the farms.

“The prob­lem is that there is a lot of cor­rup­tion and we pray to God that He erad­i­cates it. We see those in lead­er­ship al­lo­cat­ing land to their rel­a­tives.

“They don’t care that some­one was al­ready re­set­tled on the farm. They just think of their rel­a­tives as if some of us who don’t have rel­a­tives in in­flu­en­tial po­si­tions do not de­serve that land,” said Ms Josephine Chikono.

Mo­torists re­cently had to avoid tur­keys that were fighting along the Bu­l­awayo-Nkayi Road. Live­stock poses a dan­ger to mo­torists along the road of­ten caus­ing fa­tal ac­ci­dents

Cde Obe­d­ingwa Mguni

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