Illegal settlers destroy wetlands in Buhera

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Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu

BY KUDAKWASHE TAGWIREYI
VILLAGERS in Marume Village, Buhera have expressed concern over the destruction of wetlands in the area, saying the situation was being worsened by illegal settlers who were planting eucalyptus trees in the catchment area.

In a letter addressed to Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality minister Mangaliso Ndlovu on behalf of the villagers, Abia Marume called for the minister’s intervention.

“Reference is made to the in response to the above in response to the unfortunate wetland activities happening in Marume area. Background to this issue is that there are people who settled illegally in the area in Marume, Buhera West,” Marume, a village representative said.

“The activities of the illegal settlers have not only been confined to agriculture but have gone further to include the planting of gum trees in the area. All these activities can cause the drying up of the wetland which ultimately will affect the availability of raw water for the nearby dam.”

The villagers once approached the High Court seeking the eviction of the illegal settlers. The High Court (HC 6324/14 and HC 6324/13) ruled in their favour.

Buhera Rural District Council (RDC) chief executive, Emily Chibvongodze refused to comment saying she had not seen the letter of complaint.

Ndlovu advised the villagers to engage the police to evict the illegal settlers.

“It would appear these people are addressing the wrong office. They say it is a matter that has gone to the courts. We have the police to enforce court orders,” Ndlovu said.