Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Villagers complained over taking of their land

Villagers complained over taking of their land

Villagers in Chipinge South in Manicaland have complained bitterly over the 
taking over of their land for the Chisumbanje Ethanol plant.

Speaking on condition of anonymity this week, one resident said many of the 
villagers were displaced to make way for the sugar plantation yet the ARDA 
field is not being utilized.

“Why was the war fought for? Why did we struggle? Why did we lose our 
relatives? We heard that land is being redistributed for the black people, 
but now the land is being taken from the blacks and given to Billy 
Rautenbach. We have lost everything, including our livestock because we no 
longer have the pastures or land to farm,” the irate villager said.

ARDA has 5100 hectares, which Macdom, Rautenbach’s company running the 
Chisumbanje Ethanol project, should have taken over in terms of the Build, 
Operate and Transfer agreement (BOT). However, only 2 400 hectares of the 
available hectorage have been utilized for the sugarcane production. That 
company went on to take 3 500 hectares from the surrounding communal lands 
displacing hundreds of people.

Hon Mangoma, the Minister of Energy and Power Development said the issue of 
Chisumbanje should not be politicised, but the law should be upheld.

“The illegal displacement of families should stop. The villagers are 
seething, because their communal lands have been taken. Yes, we authorized 
the use of ethanol to blend fuel, but we cannot make it mandatory that all 
fuel in Zimbabwe should be blended. Whoever wants to fill their vehicles 
with blended fuel, they can do so at service stations, while those who 
prefer unleaded do so as well,” he said.

Hon Mangoma said it is prudent to give the people the freedom to choose the 
fuel they want to use in their vehicles.

Rautenbach is a controversial business man with strong links in Zanu PF. In 
the 1990’s he was wanted in South Africa where he faced hundreds of charges 
of alleged fraud, corruption and other crimes including his connection with 
his own South African company named Wheels of Africa Group.

Meanwhile, the MDC will over the weekend continue with peace rallies across 
the country as a way of keeping the country informed on recent developments.

The rallies are meant to update the people on what is happening concerning 
the draft constitution and many other positive developments undertaken by 
the MDC since the inception of the Inclusive Government as well as the 
hindrances the party has faced in the same period.

Hon Tendai Biti will on Sunday address a rally at Nyamakate Shopping centre 
in Hurungwe North, Mashonaland West Province.

In Masvingo, the provincial leadership will hold two rallies in Gutu North 
at Chinyika Business Centre and at Zimuto sidings Business Centre in 
Masvingo North Constituencies tomorrow. 


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