Illegal settlers disrupt research

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LANDS, Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development secretary Ringson Chitsiko on Monday said the ministry was failing to evict people who have settled on farms reserved for the separation and restriction of movement for livestock exposed to communicable diseases.

By Business Reporter

Chitsiko told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts that the illegal settlers were removed from three quarantine farms in 2011, but have since returned and were interfering with operations at the farms, which were used for livestock-testing and research purposes.

He said the affected farms were located in Mwenezi, Beitbridge and Mazowe.

“We have had at least three or four quarantine stations to carter for diseases and surveillance monitoring, but we have only catered for a few due to the shortage of resources. We continue to lose some areas to illegal settlers,” Chitsiko said.

He said in 2005 Local Government and Rural Settlement ministry allocated Mbizi Farm in Mwenezi to a certain farmer and gave him the offer letter, which was subsequently cancelled after the issue was raised with the ministry.

Following the recovery of the farm, the farmer was, however, issued with a 99-year lease agreement under unclear circumstances.

“The Lands and Rural Settlement ministry are confirming they have issued the land and will rectify the matter, but when we thought we had the property, we were then shown the 99-year lease agreement for the farm,” he said.

He, however, said the rise in number of illegal settlers at most research areas was a cause for concern as it was putting a risk to 5,5 million livestock that should benefit from the programme.

He added that there was need for more resources as currently there were 5 139 extension staff and 469 motorcycles to reach out to all farmers in Zimbabwe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. You guys have been encouraging disorderliness since year 1999. Are you just waking up to that fact now? You have been breeding a brood of uselss, directionless, violent and uncouth vampires who look for anyone to rob, cheat and beat out of their propoerty moving from farm to far,. This is what Mugabe has decided to leave for us as a countruy when he finally tastes the fresh earth!

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