By Dumisani Nyoni
Gwanda, October 13, 2016 – VILLAGERS in Gwanda’s Wenlock area under Chief Khulumani Mathema in Matabeleland South are up in arms following the continued invasion of their land by people from other regions who have gone on to share large portions of land among themselves.
Chief Mathema told RadioVOP during a visit this week that they were having sleepless nights with “illegal” settlers coming from other provinces outside Matabeleland.
“We have a challenge of illegal settlers who have invaded our area, taking away our land willy-nilly. Last time, 27 people were resettled into our area and as I speak, 22 are being resettled,” Mathema said.
As a result, Mathema said their grazing areas have been affected.
“I was even thinking that the white men’s rule was better off than this because we had paddocks as a community. However, it’s no longer the case now,” he said.
Villagers accused the government of fuelling land invasions since the controversial land reform programme which started 16 years ago.
“These people are disturbing our peace. They found us staying in peace but ever since they came, we are suffering. They have taken over our grazing areas thereby short-changing our livestock,” said one villager who identified himself as Khumalo.
Land invasions still continue up to date in most parts of the country with Zanu PF politicians fuelling the crisis.
This has resulted in villagers losing their properties.
Recently, more than 100 families mostly from Matabeleland South invaded Umguza district at Heaney Junction and settled there outside the law.
However, Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial chairperson, Richard Moyo, has vowed to chase them away saying they were abusing the party’s name.