Following a number of issues raised to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development in Matabeleland South Province, indications are that there is under-representation at legislative level and Beitbridge Senator, Tambudzani Mohadi has challenged her colleagues to measure up.
Most of the issues raised by the Matabeleland South community during the parliamentary portfolio committee meetings could have been attended to if their parliamentary representatives were alert and paying attention to challenges affecting people.
In apparent reference to issues that people have regarding the land reform, Mohadi challenged parliamentarians in the province to work on solving the challenges that people have in different communities.
Where there is need for parliamentary intervention, Mohandi noted that legislators must solve these issues instead of people waiting for parliamentary committees to help them with long standing issues.
Some of the issues raised such as delays in processing offer letters, boundary disputes and bullying by land officials could have exposed legislators in the province for failure to attend to people’s issues.
Meanwhile, urban local authorities in the province have appealed to the same parliamentary committee to facilitate legislation on the acquisition of land for urban expansion.
In their presentation during a public hearing in Esigodini over the weekend, senior council officials led by the Mayor of Gwanda, Councillor Knowledge Ndlovu appealed to parliamentarians for the formalisation of the proposed setting aside of land within the 40 km radius of towns as urban expansion areas.
The local authorities said the current set-up where people have been resettled on farms that are adjacent to towns needs to be reconsidered and necessary adjustments done for proper planning purposes in line with current urban trends.
“Urban planning must account for developments that go beyond 50 years, hence the call to set aside land for expansion,” Ndlovu said.
Filabusi centre and Maphisa growth point are set to be the new urban local authorities following resolutions to make formal applications to upgrade these areas into towns and if approved, these will together with Beitbridge, Gwanda, Plumtree and Esigodini need space for expansion.
The situation is the same with Lupane, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Tsholotsho and Nkayi in Matabeleland North Province.