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Chiefs at each other’s throats over Essar


Traditional chiefs in Chivhu are at each other’s throat over a piece of land where an Indian company, Essar, intends to open a mine.

NewsDay has it on good authority that chiefs in the area were scheduled to meet yesterday to resolve the differences over the piece of land in Mamhize, some ten kilometers outside Chivhu.

The chiefs are said to be eyeing benefits expected to accrue from an investment of that nature as they have witnessed in Ngezi, where Zimplats, a platinum giant, has developed the area.

The traditional leaders grappling for the area include Chief Mutekedza, Chief Musarurwa and another chief, reportedly from Mhondoro.

Essar is famous for its Ziscosteel deal that many believe will put the parastatal back on track and save hundreds of jobs.

Chief Mutekedza confirmed the standoff among the chiefs and said the divisions were a result of the bountiful benefits that come with such an investment.

He said he was however worried politicians would hijack the project to the detriment of the rightful beneficiaries.

“It’s now a political issue and there are political interests. It is now a case of who you know in political circles.

“Some chiefs now want power and ownership of the land because Essar want to know the chief they will be dealing with,” he said.

“Some chiefs think they will benefit, but my argument is all the chiefs should benefit and we should stop fighting,” he said.

Chiefs who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity said traditional leaders would soon make a decision on the matter.

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