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War Vets, Chief Cross Swords Over Land

War veterans in Norton and surrounding areas are up in arms with Chief Nyamweda of Mhondoro-Mubaira whom they accuse of illegally evicting settlers and resettling more than 300 people on grazing land at Nyadgori Farm in the past 15 years.

In a statement recently, the Norton chapter of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWA) accused Chief Nyamweda of victimising people whose identity document numbers do not end with the district code (32).

“On 13 May 2003, Mr Nicholas Kamupungu of Plot No. 56 and Mr Benedict Mhiriro Nhehwande of Plot No. 11 under the supervision of Chief Nyamweda threatened to kill Cde E. Mudhlali of Plot No. 1 Nyadgori Farm,” read the statement.

“Their reason was to evict all new resettled farmers who do not have ID (identification) cards ending with code number 32. They said the farm belonged to inhabitants of Mhondoro.”

The statement also alleges that in December 2005, Chief Nyamweda connived with Mr Kamupungu – who the war veterans believe to be related to the chief – to peg plots on land reserved for pastures.

“We asked him why he did it and he replied saying, ‘The chief is my uncle and he should have a plot. Since I am a councillor, I have powers to do what I feel is necessary. No one can challenge me, I am using my privilege’,” read the statement.

Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Cde Webster Shamu said he had received reports on the matter and will soon lead a fact-finding mission to the area.

“The war veterans brought their grievances and I am visiting the place very soon so that I can have a clear picture of what is happening there. Further steps will then be taken depending on observations,” he said.

Chief Nyamweda dismissed claims that he was on a blitz to rid his area of people wo didhail from his are of jurisdiction. He also dispelled allegations that he converted three plot belonging to three widows to his own use.

“I only wrote the letter but I never chased anyone away, those people without those ID codes, which end with 32 are still there. These are all lies, even that I took three plots of those three widows, these people are only trying to blackmail me,” he said.

The traditional leader also denied parcelling grazing land to illegal settlers said the land was a portion reserved for future settlements.

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