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Mangwe versus Kezi in irrigation scheme row - Zimbabwe Today
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Mangwe versus Kezi in irrigation scheme row


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Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Obedingwa Mguni

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Obedingwa Mguni

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Plumtree Correspondent
VILLAGERS in Mangwe and Matobo Districts are at loggerheads over the use of Thornville Irrigation Scheme, a development that has affected production at the farm.

The farm, which is located in Marula Ward, Mangwe District near the boundary with Matobo District, has caused tension between villagers from the area and Kezi villagers.

Chief Bango who presides over Marula and Kezi areas said villagers in Mangwe District were demanding the eviction of farmers from the neighbouring district who were operating at the irrigation scheme.

He said a delegation comprising traditional leaders, Mangwe acting District administrator Mr Onismo Zvogara and Agritex officers held a meeting with farmers from the area last Wednesday to resolve the dispute.

“There has been a dispute between farmers from Kezi area in Matobo and Marula area in Mangwe over the use of Thornville Irrigation Scheme. The farm has always accommodated farmers from Kezi and Marula but villagers from Mangwe are ordering their neighbours to leave as it is located in their ward.

“The irrigation is located in Marula Ward and it borders with Kezi area. Efforts were made in the past to resolve the matter but it helped only temporarily,” he said.

Chief Bango said the irrigation scheme has 120 farmers but only 67 were active as the rest had withdrawn in protest. He said this has affected production at the farm.

He said during the meeting, some farmers said the existing irrigation scheme’s committee had been imposed upon them and they also demanded the revision of the constitution.

The chief said farmers resolved that a new committee should be elected and the constitution must be amended.

Chief Bango said relevant government departments and traditional leaders will closely monitor activities at the irrigation scheme to resolve any disputes.

“We told the farmers during the meeting that occupying plots in the irrigation meant they had to be productive and we expect them to deliver from now on as they are expected to contribute towards food security.

“The farmers were also told to desist from segregation because resources in the country are meant to benefit everyone. The farmers promised to put their differences aside and work towards making the irrigation productive and we hope they will do this,” he said.

Marula Ward councillor, Mrs Ngonidzashe Chemhuru said villagers from her area felt farmers from the neighbouring district were not supposed to operate at the irrigation scheme as it was not within their ward.

“The villagers from my area feel that since the irrigation is in their ward they are the ones who should benefit from it. It appears that most plot holders at the farm are from the neighbouring district which has become a cause for concern.

“Villagers are supposed to benefit from the resources within their areas,” she said.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs who is also the National House of Assembly Member for Mangwe Constituency, Cde Obedingwa Mguni, said there was a need for villagers from the two districts to put their differences aside and concentrate on maximising production as that was in line with the Command Agriculture programme.

—  @DubeMatutu.

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