BULAWAYO, Tuesday, September 17, 1991 — The Government must ensure that past mistakes made in the resettlement exercise, in which expensive infrastructure was destroyed and farms degraded, are not repeated, the Governor of Matabeleland South, Cde Mark Dube, said yesterday.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) seminar, Cde Dube said in the past the Government made a mistake by admitting people into resettlement areas without considering whether they were farmers or not.
‘’We are currently in the process of redressing that. It is now clear that not all people who are now settled in the resettlement areas are farmers,’’ he said.
He said as soon as the people moved into the farms they started chopping down trees, removing fences, destroying houses, pumps, boreholes and paddocks. The areas were also over-grazed resulting in land degradation which in turn led to siltation of some dams.
‘’We will now give priority to those people who are willing to farm and who can prove that they can do it,’’ he said adding that organisations such as the ZFU would play a leading role in the selection process.