Three chiefs from Matabeleland South province have petitioned Vice-President Constantino Chiwengwa to rein in Chief Mapanzure of Zvishavane and stop him from interfering in Chief Jahana’s area of jurisdiction in Insiza through appointing village heads.
Chiefs Vezi Maduna Mafu, Jahana and Sibasa, all of Insiza district, wrote a petition to Chiwenga on July 12 asking him to intervene in a number of issues affecting their areas among them interference by Mapanzure in Jahana’s area.
The petition was handed to Chiwenga last week when he visited Insiza on a Zanu PF campaign trail.
“We request that you stop Chief Mapanzure of Zvishavane RDC from appointing village heads in Chief Jahana’s area of jurisdiction in Insiza Rural District Council, if this is not attended to as a matter of urgency, it will lead to serious tribal/ethnic, regional and political tensions,” the petition read.
The chiefs also asked Chiwenga to give ownership of Silalatshani Dam and Siwazi Dam back to the people of Insiza.
The chiefs added: “Remove Zimbabwe National Water Authority and give Insiza RDC full authority on the dam because we have noted that Zinwa is failing to maintain these dams and irrigation canals.
“Cancellation of Silalatshani Irrigation Scheme farmers’ debt amounting to $90 000 to Zinwa, this debt has hindered the production. It is because of this debt that we have failed to attract investors and partners who are willing to help us resuscitate the irrigation scheme.”
The chiefs asked Chiwenga to also stop Zinwa from harvesting command fishery at Silalatshani Dam without consulting other stakeholders and the traditional leaders.
Addressing hundreds of people at Filabusi Centre during a rally last week, Chiwenga said Zinwa had no authority over fisheries which were to be managed by villagers. He said government had scrapped off their debts and therefore no one should demand payments or cut off their water supplies.
“We heard that villagers are being forced to pay thousands of dollars as debts carried over from that era. This should stop immediately and villagers should go and farm freely knowing that they do not owe Zinwa,” he said.
“Zinwa should stop acting as if they own the fisheries project, it belongs to you all and you should benefit fully.”
He, however, failed to address chiefs concerns over Mapanzure’s alleged interference.
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