Conflict brews as villagers axe stray cattle
A BOUNDARY dispute has erupted in Luma, an area bordering Gwanda and Matobo districts in Matabeleland South, where villagers are allegedly axing livestock that stray into their areas.
The boundary dispute is said to be caused by people who were illegally settled and have occupied pastures.
Traditional leaders are worried that the dispute may end in tragedy as some villagers are axing and ensnaring livestock that stray to either side.
Chief Nyangazonke from Matobo District told The Chronicle that villagers at Luma have become intolerant of each other to the extent of attacking each other’s livestock.
“There’s a serious boundary dispute that we need to deal with. There are people who are said to have illegally settled but we haven’t met to see who is wrong or right. We’re worried because we’ve had reports of villagers axing or snaring cattle that are straying to either of the two districts,” said Chief Nyangazonke. He said police have been told about the problem. Chief Nyangazonke said he was supposed to meet Chief Mathema from Gwanda and civil servants to address the problem but the Government employees did not turn up.
He said the community would be meeting tomorrow to map the way forward.
“This has to be resolved as soon as possible because people can put a boundary on themselves but their animals don’t know any boundaries. It’s a problem that needs urgent attention,” Chief Nyangazonke said.
He said he was assisting in resolving the issue of illegal settlers which is in the late Chief Masuku’s area.
“During chiefs’ meetings the two would say those people are illegally settled but we have to sit them down to understand how they were settled. We want to rope in the services of the district administrator and lands officer,” said Chief Nyangazonke.— @nqotshili.