By NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) municipal rangers recently chased away land invaders who had occupied two council farms on the outskirts of Bulawayo, a council report reveals.
In 2014, Zanu PF youths invaded one of the said properties, the Mazwi nature reserve, located near Old Pumula high-density suburb, parcelled out for free pieces of land to over 3 000 people.
Hundreds of other land seekers on the waiting list were, however, allegedly also made to pay varying amounts to the youth leaders involved in the Mazwi nature reserve land grab before their arrest and imprisonment.
They were also fined $4 000 as compensation to the local authority.
According to a latest BCC environmental, management and engineering services committee report, a group of unknown land seekers had also attempted to grab council’s Mazwi
nature reserve and Dunstal farm on the outskirts of the city before they were chased away.
“Surveillance patrols are being conducted at Dunstal Farm and Mazwi Nature Reserve where invasion of these two (2) properties have been reported. The illegal occupants of
the two properties have since left,” the council report reads in part.
The Mazwi game reserves are owned by the local authority through its commercial division.
Meanwhile, the council report also showed that municipal police had intensified patrols at water catchment areas were illegal miners search for gold, creating siltation.
“Routine patrols are being conducted at water catchment areas where (4) illegal miners were arrested and handed over the confiscated tools to the Esigodini Republic Police
and the tools were handed over to the police as evidence in court,” the report reads.
It adds: “During operations in the Greater Bulawayo a total of 89 tickets were issued totalling $3 712. Out of those
tickets 82 have been paid for and seven tickets are still outstanding with the value of $1 640.”