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Villagers’ Cattle Die as Land is Robbed

15 October 2009

SOUTH AFRICA - Villagers claim to have their cattle grazing land and dams robbed from them by a member of the Zanu (PF) party.

The villagers, from Jibhi Vilaage, most of who are working in Johannesburg, early this week told The Zimbabwean that the businessman, Vuka Sibanda, had so far defied a ministerial order to remove his fence, which robbed them of their cattle’s grazing land and dams, among a host of other things necessary to their livelihood.

Mr Sibanda, from Somnene village, owns Tsholotsho-based Vukuzenzele trading stores, where he has a general dealer, butchery and a grinding mill.

The Zimbabwean first carried a report on the dispute in July this year which officials responded to.

“Officials from both Zanu (PF) and the MDC held a series of meetings with us and the businessmen to resolve this dispute,” said Merciful Ncube, one of the affected villagers.

The most recent of those meetings was held in Jibhi Village on 20 September, and attended by Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister, Hebert Murerwa, Tsholotsho Senator Believe Gaule, Chief Gampu 4 from Somnene and Plumtree’s Chief Kandama.

“After hearing our arguments, the ministers told Vuka that he had no right to fence off our area and ordered him to remove the fence within 21 days,” said  Mr Ncube.

Local residents have been held and tortured by police officers as Mr Sibanda terrorises villagers and continues to refuse to move the fence. Villagers have claimed that Mr Sibanda is working with the local administrator to forge papers indicating that he legally obtained the land.

So far 58 cattle have died to lack of grazing and it is unlikely villagers will be able to till their land over the coming month.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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