CHIPINGE — The land wrangle pitting villagers and Green Fuel could soon be over after the affected community last week indicated its willingness to take half a hectare allocated to each family as compensation for their displacement.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The villagers and the Chisumbanje-based ethanol producing company have been clashing since last year after villagers were displaced to pave way for sugarcane plantation in Chinyamukwakwa area.
Armed police were frequently called in to disperse the villagers who were threatening to take back their land.
At one time, some villagers were locked up in custody for several days and later released.
Claris Madhuku, a member of the District Ethanol Implementation Committee, a committee set to address the land dispute between the villagers and the company, last week said the problem had been addressed amicably.
“The boundary dispute in Chinyamukwakwa, which had been hitting headlines because of its grandeur, has found a lasting solution,” said Madhuku.
“Villagers have pledged that they will now be ready to take up the 240 plots prepared by Green fuel, as part of their corporate social responsibility.”
He added: “The delay in taking up the plots had been exacerbated by the lack of clarity on the boundary, as well as internal disagreements within the village on the methodology of distributing the plots.”
According to the provisional plan, each villager is expected to receive 0,5 hectares of irrigated land as compensation for the displacement.
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) board chairman, Basil Badza last week confirmed that the land dispute had been addressed.
The parastatal owns part of the land where the sugarcane is being grown.
“All is going on well and we are progressing well,” said Badza. “The issue of land is ongoing and we will continue giving out land. This year the villagers will utilise their land.”
Last year, the inclusive government tasked the former deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara to break the land impasse but most of his efforts were in vain.
Before the land was taken by Green Fuels, the villagers in Chisumbanje used to own large tracts of land where they produced cotton and other agricultural products that sustained their families.