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Vendors, govt officials in land dispute

By Vumani Mthiyane 
A land dispute has erupted between informal vendors and officials from the ministry of lands in Makhado area, near Gwanda, with the former accusing the lands officials of corruptly allocating land to undeserving people at the expense of locals.
This prompted the government to intervene through calling for a meeting that was held recently at Makhado business centre.
A government delegation led by acting Gwanda District Administrator Judge Dube, together with Gwanda Rural District Council CEO Ronnie Sibanda and the key lands official only identified as Mr Hamura came face to face with the disgruntled locals.
Addressing the meeting, Chairperson for informal vendors, Morris Mhlanga alleged that officials from the Ministry of Lands parcelled out the land to their friends.
Mhlanga said upon visiting the ministry of lands offices for verification they were allegedly told that all the stands had been allocated to people.
The chairperson went on to highlight that most local people who had applied for the business stands were overlooked.
“We are locals here, but land beneficiaries are outsiders, something, Ministry of Lands failed to explain to us,” complained Mhlanga.
“To make matters worse, these strangers are selling these stands to us at exorbitant prices.”
In response, the acting Gwanda D.A Dube, said they are on a fact-finding mission to find out how the land in question was allocated.
Sibanda proposed a re-allocation process if it was discovered that there were inconsistencies in the allocation of stands.
“It is unfortunate that the land in question falls under my jurisdiction although my office is not well versed about the allocations. Nonetheless, we have to come to a consensus and harmonise this issue,” said Sibanda
However, contacted for comment, Matabeleland South chief land’s officer Madodana Dodzi declined to comment.
Some of the people who attended the meeting include Beitbridge West Constituency ward 12 councillor Amon Ndou, Zanu-Pf Madzhini, district chairperson Hebert Humbulani Siyoga, and the newly installed headman Liberty Muleya –Siyoga.
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