Con­flict brews as vil­lagers axe stray cat­tle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqobile Tshili

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.

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