CHIPINGE – Villagers from Chinyamukwakwa and Chisumbanje in Chipinge have accused their MP Enock Porusangazi (Chipinge South) of working in cohorts with sugarcane company Greenfuel to get them removed from their land.
They allege that Porusingazi is getting favours from Grenfuel hence he is fronting the company’s interests ahead of the people who elected him into office.
The villagers and Greenfuel, a company run by prominent businessman Billy Rautenbach are locked in a battle for Ndowoyo communal lands.
The villagers held a meeting with prominent lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku recently and asked for his support in their legal fight against Greenfuel. It is at that meeting that they made allegations against Porusingazi.
Efforts to get a comment from Porusingazi were fruitless.
Greenfuel spokesperson Merit Rumema asked for written questions that were sent twice but there was no response.
Professor Madhuku told the meeting that the problems of villagers in many cases lie with the choices of MPs they make at election times. He challenged the villagers to show anything tangible that they benefitted from Porusingazi’s several terms in office.
He said that there were two approaches to the villagers’ problems and these are the political and legal route.
He said that the political route would be the easiest but under the circumstances there is evidence that politicians are compromised and little can come out of them. He said he would however, engage President Mnangagwa over the issue.
Madhuku expressed confidence in the legal route and said it would be pursued relentlessly starting with an urgent chamber application.
Chipinge Times is reliably informed that Green Fuel was leased land that was once used by ARDA in Middle Sabi and Chisumbanje and they are currently using land measuring over 40 000 hectares.
One of Chinyamukwakwa residents confirmed the matter to Chipinge Times.
“I will take two routes; I will go and meet the President but I know we will not succeed because he is fully aware of this case. Politicians don’t care about us. The second route is to take the matter to the courts. Please continue with your farming activities on any land that is yet to be taken away from you even if you have heard that it is going to be grabbed. We are going to stop those who want to interfere with your farming activities,” said Madhuku.
He urged villagers to elect people with them at heart.
“Sometimes we are to blame for our problems because of the leaders we elect. Elect leaders who will stand for their communities. If we don’t correct issues of politics, challenges will persist. Where is Porusingasi (MP) in this case? He was the MP of this constituency since these land battles started and I don’t expect that he will solve your case one day. What has Porusingasi done in your lives because what can he protect for you which is more important than the land,” he added.
A local governance expert, Allan Murozvi said the SADC region is experiencing rapid growth of privatisation and commodification of customary land and these are state driven in pursuit of land based investments with cooperates who pursue profits disregarding life of the communities.