Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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US$200m forestry plantations lost to illegal settlers

US$200m forestry plantations lost to illegal settlers

Saturday, 21 January 2012 00:00

Herald Reporter
ZIMBABWE has lost more than US$200 million due to activities of illegal 
settlers in areas reserved for timber plantations, Allied Timbers chief 
executive officer, Dr Joseph Kanyekanye said yesterday. Addressing 
journalists in Harare yesterday, Dr Kanyekanye said more than 4 000 families 
across the country have invaded 12 000 hectares of forestry land.
“US$200 million has been lost because of these culprits, these people are 
destroying our economy,” he said. “A lot of money is being lost because of 
these people . . . we can say they are committing murder because it’s 
killing our country’s economy.”

Dr Kanyekanye said forestry plantations were vulnerable because Government 
had not done anything to evict the illegal settlers.
He said they had tried to engage Government and the police to help them 
evict the people without success.

Dr Kanyekanye said some of the illegal settlers started fires to give a 
negative perception that timber companies were not replanting clear areas.
Dr Kanyekanye said people were illegally settled at district level against 
Government policy that forestry land should not be occupied.

“The Government does not allow any settlements on forestry land, any offer 
of land is given by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlements only,” he said.
He said failure by the Government to stop the illegal resettlement would 
result in the timber industry collapsing.

Dr Kanyekanye said the timber yield was going to be low this year because of 
low rainfall received.


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