Cross-Border Traders Association of Zimbabwe president Killer Zivhu said members of his association did not benefit from the land reform programme, yet they earned foreign currency for the country and provided goods in short supply when the Zimbabwe dollar become virtually worthless due to runaway inflation.
He said the association had since written to the appropriate ministries in government requesting them to respond to the demands.
Zivhu said there were several farms around cities which can be acquired to provide residential stands to the more than one million people, a majority of them women, whom he claimed were now surviving on cross-border trading due to the high unemployment rate.
“We are mobilising ourselves in huge numbers to benefit from land redistribution without going back on this idea as part of our benefit as Zimbabweans,” wrote Zivhu to the three ministers. “What we only need is the land to build our own houses. We can pool our resources together and build our own houses if given the land in peri-urban areas.”
Zivhu said most members of the association who now include those operating hair salons, had been on the housing waiting list for more than 21 years. There are no prospects of them ever getting residential stands of their own, he said.
He said the association should also be allocated land which some local authorities were failing to service. “We need these pieces of land to build our properties. Without a place of your own in your country of origin where others are getting land for free, it is like living under sanctions,” wrote the Cross-Border Traders Association boss.
Zivhu said his association supported the indigenisation programme and was ready to mobilise its members to “defend the gains of independence”.
Grievances addressed to three Ministries lines
THe Cross-Border Traders Association of Zimbabwe has written to three ministries: Lands and Resettlement, Rural Housing and Social Amenities, as well as that of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development spelling out their demands and requesting them to respond soon.