Village heads report Chief Musarurwa to ZACC
CHIKOMBA – Some 30 village heads from Ward 16, Nharira in Chikomba have petitioned the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) over the alleged rampant sale of State land by Chief Musarurwa that has seen 100 families being settled in their grazing land.
The villagers said the situation is so dire that there is a need for urgent intervention. They said that their livestock ran out of pastures. The ward has become overpopulated and natural resources are no longer enough.
The petition dated April 21, 2023, was received by ZACC on April 26, 2023, according to documents in the hands of The Mirror.
ZACC spokesperson Commissioner Thandiwe Mlobane could neither confirm nor deny having received the report.
“I can’t confirm nor deny having received the report. The person I was hoping to have given me the information was not able to do so. If you can call next week we will probably be in a better position to confirm,” said Mlobane.
The village heads initially raised the matter with headman Hokonya and Chief Musarurwa, but their appeal was not heeded. The village heads said they were instead harassed by Chief Musarurwa for raising the issue. Chikumbirike, one of the village heads, was fired.
Musarurwa said to be planning to establish three new villages in the area, allegedly reacted by withdrawing bicycles donated to village heads, including Mudhara, Mugari and Muchairi.
Musarurwa confirmed the matter to The Mirror but said it was a question of bad blood between him and some village heads. He insisted that the cattle population in the ward was low.
Mashonaland East Environmental Management Agency (EMA) provincial education and publicity officer Astas Mabwe said EMA is concerned with conservation of natural ecosystem.
“Where settlements are concerned, we look into the encroachment into sensitive ecosystems. We are also concerned about illegal settlements which results in shortage of land where settlers end up using wetlands and river beds as part of their farming land,” said Mabwe.
“We take this as corruption. We have nowhere to go except to ZACC, so you may stop this. We have approached every other office that we thought could help but to no avail,” says the petition.
Gibson Muzondo, one of the villagers whose land was affected, said that the land does not belong to an individual but to the whole Varozvi clan. He said the wishes of the people and the dictates of the law must therefore be followed. He urged the Government not to allow such corruption because it negatively affected the environment and was detrimental to development.