A NUMBER of villagers in Ntabazinduna, Umguza district, Matabeleland North province, face eviction to pave way for the installation of power lines by the country’s power utility.
The project is likely to affect about 10 families staying near Tenson Hlabangana High School.
The development comes at a time when there have been reports of planned eviction of villagers to pave way for mining giants and other corporates to undertake projects deemed to be of national interest.
Southern Eye heard that the affected villagers had been given notice of eviction, but were yet to be allocated alternative land.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo, while professing ignorance about the planned eviction, said the villagers would be allocated land elsewhere to pave way for any national projects.
“I am yet to be informed about that,” Moyo said yesterday.
“However, such electrification projects are national and definitely they will be given alternative accommodation elsewhere. As long as it is a government project, they will be accommodated elsewhere where beautiful homes will be built for them.”
Zesa Holdings southern region’s acting manager Lloyd Jaji was not answering his mobile phone.
Of late, land disputes involving corporates and villagers have been commonplace in the region, resulting in Matabeleland South traditional leaders writing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeking his intervention.
Traditional leaders argue that they are not being consulted in the allocation of land to corporates in their areas of jurisdiction.
“Processes and procedures are only bypassed when we are in a state of emergency, but as Zimbabwe, we are not, hence a request to your office to revert to the normal processes and procedures of issuing all mining EPOs [exclusive prospecting orders] in Matabeleland. Failure to do so makes the whole native Matabeleland inhabitants feel or think that you have mortgaged their future for the economic gains of your family after your retirement from active political office as head of State,” Chief Jahana said in a letter to Mnangagwa dated May 16.
He was expressing concerns over the issuance of an EPO to mining giant Premier African Minerals for lithium mining in the Fort Rixon area, which falls under his jurisdiction, without his knowledge.