Chiefs in Masvingo have urged Government to allocate them sugarcane farms in Chiredzi as part of efforts to improve their welfare. Speaking during a Zimbabwe Association for Prevention of Crime and Rehabilitation of Offenders (ZACROs)-organised workshop, chiefs raised concern over failure by the Government to allocate them land. The traditional leaders urged Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage Minister Abedinico Ncube, who attended the meeting, to take their grievance on land as a top priority.
The chiefs’ call comes after the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Shuvai Mahofa, told zanu-pf members in Chiredzi sometime last year that Tongaat Hullet had pledged 4 000 hectares of land for chiefs in Masvingo.
Chief Serima of Gutu claimed that some chiefs in other provinces had been allocated land while in Masvingo, chiefs had not been allocated.
“Minister, our plea as chiefs in Masvingo is to be allocated sugarcane farms in Chiredzi.
“We have been promised 4 000 hectares of land to be put under sugarcane for chiefs since 2013 but to date nothing has materialised,” said Chief Serima.
He said chiefs would not desert their areas of jurisdiction when they are allocated sugarcane farms.
“I have heard some saying that if chiefs are allocated farms in Chiredzi they will desert their areas.
“I beg to differ because there are many people with farms in Chiredzi from other provinces and some are Members of Parliament,” he said.
Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira echoed the same sentiments.
“The provincial administrator Mr Felix Chikovo should assist the minister through speeding this process. We cannot have a situation where chiefs do not benefit from resources in their provinces when their subjects or some individuals from outside the province are benefiting,” said Chief Charumbira.
Responding to the chiefs, Minister Ncube said he would assist chiefs in Masvingo to benefit from their resources.
“I will take it up with the relevant ministry, and I assure you that the matter will be attended to this year.
“My staff is capturing all the deliberations on this critical matter and very soon, you will have a response through your provincial leadership. There is no-way our esteemed chiefs cannot benefit from sugarcane farms when others in other provinces have been given land and are benefiting from community share ownership trusts,” he said.
Ncube also requested Chikovo to furnish his office with information on the promised 4 000 hectares.
He said chiefs should have medical aid schemes, cars and good houses which are electrified.
This, he said, is commensurate with their positions in society.