CHIADZWA polygamists are giving Manicaland provincial administrator Fungayi Mbetsa “headaches” as their large families cannot fit into the three bedroomed houses at Arda Transau where the displaced families were relocated due to diamond mining activities.
Report by Veneranda Langa
Mbetsa told MPs from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy during a workshop on diamond mining in Vumba this week that there had been challenges in resettling the 4 321 households since there was shortage of land and polygamists worsened the situation.
Among the polygamists is a member of the Johanne Marange apostolic sect, Philemon Johani Kaiboni, who is said to have 14 wives, a situation which made it difficult to accommodate each of his wives in separate bedrooms in their allocated houses.
“At first, we built him a villa, but some of his wives were
left without bedrooms and then we also considered building him 14 separate houses to accommodate each of his wives,” Mbetsa said.
“He refused, saying he feared the houses will be far too apart and he feared other men might end up taking some of his wives, yet in our characterisation of a household it is only one wife and her children who represent a household.”
Mbetsa added that another Chiadzwa polygamist has 11 wives
and 74 children.
He said there was severe land shortage and they were looking for more land.
“Land at Transau is not enough to cater for the 31 villages and
4 321 households. We are already looking for alternative land outside Mutare District.
“To date, six companies are involved in the relocation projects and these are Anjin Investments, Mbada Diamonds, Diamond Mining Corporation, Marange Resources, Jinan Investment and Rera Diamonds,” he said.
Mbetsa denied allegations by MPs that a certain Major Nyakunu had been given a house at Arda Transau to intimidate people for political reasons.
He added that title deeds will not be offered to those allocated houses because it was government land.
“It is State land and their tenure is the same as the tenure they had in the rural areas,” he said.
According to Mbetsa, 134 boreholes were required at Arda Transau, but only 54 had been drilled by the District Development Fund.
“Only Anjin Investment has developed a water reticulation system providing portable water to those relocated. However, government is in the process of designing a water system for the whole area which will result in residents getting piped water,” he said.