Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

EFF threatens to destroy Zimbabwe's lucerne grass project

by Staff reporter
20 Jun 2020 at 08:31hrs | Views
ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters (EFF) Zimbabwe president Innocent Gagu Lutshutsha Ndibali has threatened to destroy the lucerne grass project if government goes ahead with its plans to displace over 2 500 villagers from their ancestral land in Chiredzi.

The militant Ndibali told Southern Eye that his party was against the displacement of people without due processes.

Without providing details, Nibali said his party would do anything it may deem necessary to stop the project.

"My understanding is that the Land Task Force is not willing to work with us, but will push harder for our people as EFF Zimbabwe, we will not relent, if need be, will destroy the project itself," said Ndibali.

Private milk producer, Dendiary is reported to be eyeing approximately 10 000 hectares of arable land for lurcene production meant for local and international markets. Lurcene grass, also called

alfalfa, is used for making hay or animal fodder.

Meanwhile, villagers who face eviction have engaged Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to fight their removal.

This was after Vice-President Constantine Chiwenga visited the area two weeks ago and made threats to the villagers who resist eviction.

In a letter by ZLHR to the Local Government ministry dated June 1, 2020, the lawyers are demanding that government comes clean on its intention to evict the villagers to pave way for the grass project.

Part of the letter reads: "That not only are they the indigenous people of the said land, but as the Shangani they are one of the minority tribes in Zimbabwe, they therefore believe that government's gross disregard for the indigenous people's rights is a clear threat targeted against the minority tribe.

"That the government did not consult the Shangani people with regard to the proposed project and they have no information on where they will be relocated to, how the communities are going to benefit from the project and if they are going to be relocated, how are they going to be compensated."

The lawyers added: "Our clients are concerned about government induced relocations; they have witnessed how villagers in Chisumbanje and villagers in Tokwe Mukosi have been ill-treated by the very government that was supposed to protect them from investors, more so when the land in dispute is communal land."

In 2014, government displaced 3 000 Chivi villagers who were settled around Tugwi-Mukosi Dam and dumped in Chingwizi.

The villagers are living in squalors with no source of clean water, clinics and schools. Some were later allocated one-hectare plots on a portion of Naunetsi Ranch in Mwenezi district as part of the compensation.

The plight of the Tugwi-Mukosi flood victims is almost similar to those in Chisumbanje, where several families were moved to pave way for Green Fuel's ethanol project. Some of the displaced villagers are yet to be compensated.

Source - newsday