Illegal settlers put chief, DA on warpath
MATOBO District Administrator Mr Robert Mzezewa has clashed with a local chief after his office regularised the stay of illegal settlers in Luma, a disputed border area between Gwanda and Matobo Districts. Villagers in Luma, Matobo District and their Emaphaneni neighbours in Gwanda District have for some time now, been fighting over the control of pastures in Luma. Mr Mzezewa said the Luma conflict has been resolved as the illegal settlers were given the nod to live in the area last month. “The Matobo District Lands Committee met and resolved that the illegal settlers stay be regularised and therefore are now part of the Luma Farm A1 farmers. This came after it was realised that only about five percent of grazing land had been affected,” he said. He said after the settlement was legalised, the Matobo community was educated on the need to share grazing land. Mr Mzezewa said the settlers were already paying taxes to Government and have built permanent structures.
However, Chief Nyangazonke said the DA was not being sincere in saying the boundary conflict had been resolved. He said failure by Government departments to attend meetings was making the traditional leadership suspicious about their intentions over land issues.
Chief Nyangazonke said civil servants should not come up with solutions that will create permanent conflicts for villagers. He said locals suspect that the illegal settlers were corruptly settled in the area.
“These conflicts are emerging because of these new households they want to approve. Maybe some of them received money. If you look at the issue deep down, there is an issue of someone who’s making people pay for the stands. How do you legalise an illegal thing? Why do you want to legalise a crime?” asked Chief Nyangazonke.
He said if the DA does not address people’s concerns they will approach the Minister of Lands and Rural Settlement Dr Douglas Mombeshora. In September, Dr Mombeshora warned that the Government will soon start removing all illegal settlements.— @ nqotshili..