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    Friday, 28 October 2016

    Village heads selling land for wardrobes


    MASVINGO – Land has become such a cheap commodity in Zimbabwe that village heads are parcelling out State land in return for wardrobes.
    This has caused overpopulation and overgrazing in many rural areas resulting in the siltation of dams and rivers.
    Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Berita Chikwama said this at a feedback meeting of the Lands Inspectorate Committee held at Masvingo Showgrounds recently.
    "There is rampant corruption in the resettlement areas because after the appointment of village heads in the areas, they started selling State land to their friends and relatives.
    "Some of the village heads received wardrobes as payment for the land by land seekers and this is causing untold suffering in the affected areas because there is no more grazing land for animals.
    "There is also massive degradation of land and siltation in major rivers caused by overpopulation," said an irate Chikwama.
    The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement Desire Mutize Sibanda said those who have been identified as the land barons have been reported to the Police and investigations are under way.
    She said the worst affected areas are  Ward 29 and 30 and in some parts of Chiredzi.
    "Some have off springs whom they have allocated plots illegally yet they also got the land illegally, so it is a chain of reaction but we want to correct that as we move on from now," said Sibanda.
    Deputy Commissioner General Godwin Matanga added his voice by promising that those who buy State land and those who illegally settle people will be arrested as long as there is evidence.
    "The main problem we face is that people are not forthcoming with evidence but if we tumble upon any evidence we will arrest.
    "I can even postpone my journey back to Harare so that I can make some arrests, those who have been fingered in the illegal sale of land must write affidavits and confess so that there is evidence that they have stopped the habit.
    "They must stop forthwith otherwise Mutimurefu is waiting for them because that is where they belong,' said Matanga.
    Matanga had no kind words for war veterans who claimed that they have no land and want to be allocated because during the land reform programme all war veterans were allocated plots.local news
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