CHIEF Chiweshe, born Matthew Chitemamuswe, has accused a white commercial farmer in Centenary of violating women customary land rights by extending his Achiford Farm boundary into a widow’s plot.
By SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
Robert Montgomery Webb is said to have illegally extended his farm and encroached into the land owned by widow Miriam Kadara.
“This white commercial farmer is abusing a widow in my area of jurisdiction after he extended his boundary and has been planting fruits at the widow’s plot, which is serious abuse,” Chief Chiweshe said.
“It is very astonishing to note that the few remaining whites in Muzarabani district do not respect customary land rights and they do not respect us traditional leaders since this is not the first time. The late Chief Kaseke’s wife Roina was chased away from her farm by a white farmer in 2016. This trend should stop,“ he said.
The widow said this happened after she had prepared her land in order to implement the government-supported Pfumvudza programme.
“I am so disturbed that my only source of living was that land which I had been using for the past six years, but this farmer has taken over and destroyed my land preparation,” Kadara saiod.
Muzarabani district development coordinator John Chihobo confirmed the case.
“We are aware of the case, but I would advise you to contact our lands officer Precily Nyamhondera, who is well versed with current developments of the matter,” Chihobo said.
Nyamhondera said Webb had two maps which did not originate from the district.
“The situation at Achiford Farm is confusing because as it stands Webb has two maps one from the province and the other from Harare, but they are not properly done. As the district, we do not know the reasons why he is expanding his farm,” he said.
Webb was not reachable for comment, but his lawyer Collins Chapasuka said their papers were above board.
He accused the widow of failing to comply with the mapping.
“The alleged land is Webb’s land and all the papers are there to prove that. But it is just that Webb has been reluctant to move her away all the years as she was farming there,” Chapasuka said.