Land barons wreak havoc

02 Jun, 2023 - 00:06 0 Views
Land barons wreak havoc Chief Nqabutho Mathe from Matopo


Mashudu Mambo

DUMISANI Ncube (30) from Matopo village Ward 9 feels betrayed by the local leaders as the land reserved for their pastures has been turned into an illegal resettlement area.

In an interview, Ncube highlighted the challenges that they are experiencing in their area as a result of land barons who are selling their land.

“This is my home where all my grandfathers and great-grandfathers were born and what is challenging is that our land is now being sold to people from other areas. The land is our inheritance and it must not be sold or leased.

“The area affected  is called Up-sent Farm which has a gum tree plantation, it is divided into the east and the west. The problem is that people who reside on the west part of the plantation are selling the land that had been reserved for pastures and this has posed a threat to our livestock,” said Ncube.

Ncube narrated his experience where he almost lost four of his cattle which were found grazing at a resettlement area as a result of the lack of pastures.

“This issue has affected me personally because l almost lost four cows which were axed after being found in resettlement areas, luckily three of them were treated but the other one died,” said Ncube.

He said they had tried engaging the local leaders to deal with the issue but nothing fruitful came out of these engagements.

Chief Nqabutho Mathe from Matopo

“We have tried engaging the headman, councillors and the chief but to no avail. 

“I believe that these people who are selling this land are working together with the leadership of the area because l doubt it as a villager l can have authority to sell land,” said Ncube.

Ncube believes that the best way to deal with this challenge is to send people back to their original homes and to allow them to live in peace.

“I believe that for peace to prevail in our area, these outsiders who have bought land have to be sent back to their original homes. l believe that there is a need to engage the chief to come and address this matter,” said Ncube.

The issue of land barons has not only affected the community members but also the new settlers who have bought land from these  barons.

Nelisiwe Sibanda highlighted that she had faced a lot of challenges after she bought land from a baron as she is constantly being harassed.

“My experience with the landlord was nasty, at first they pretended to be very welcoming. We went to the site that is Gumtree and this is where l was shown the place and they extended their hand and offered me an area to place a kraal.

“Initially, l was told that the land was worth US$600 and l made the payments in a space of three months. 

“After these payments, the land baron said l was owing US$200  because the area  had been divided into two portions which were said to be US$400 each. 

“I tried to reason with the land baron but l ended up promising to pay the balance to keep him off,” said Sibanda.

Sibanda said the land baron is constantly visiting and he refused to give her a garden.

“The land baron has refused to give me a garden and a field so I am currently staying in a                             rocky place where he is always coming in for inspections and telling me that l do not  listen to his rules.

“I have been waiting for registration from the headman and the chief but up to now nothing has been done and l had to go in person to the headman and he said he was aware of the incident as there were seven other people with the same problem,” she said.

The district administrator of Mzingwane Peter Mahlathini said they had never received such complaints and they were advising the affected people to report such matters to the relevant offices.

“We have never received such complaints, and communal land is not supposed to be sold. We advise the people who are affected to report the matter to the relevant offices so that we can amicably deal with the issue and carry out the investigations,” said Mahlathini.

The Chief of the area, Ngqabutho Mathe said he was still investigating the issue as he had not received such cases from his headmen.

“I have not received such reports and l have been trying to contact the headmen in regard to the issue but to no avail. 

“I will have to go on the ground and investigate the issue,” said Chief Mathe.

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