CHIREDZI - Chiredzi Rural District Council (RDC) last week criticised deputy minister of agriculture, Davis Marapira, over his intent to handover land to Addmore Hwarare saying it will give rise in land barons something which the local government is battling to eradicate.
Marapira was in Chiredzi last week for the identification of land which he promised to hand over to all sugarcane farmers for housing projects.
The housing project is being facilitated by Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association of Zimbabwe's (CSFAZ) chairperson Addmore Hwarare who is alleged to be involved in corrupt activities that had lured Marapira to facilitate stands for them.
Hwarare is alleged to have been making some donations in Marapira's Masvingo north constituency.
Chiredzi RDC chairperson Edward Matsilele dropped a bombshell during his 2018 first quarter report that the housing scheme has usurped local authority' powers and will lead to the rise in land barons.
"On a disturbing note, we realised the rise in land barons again. We are being informed that the ministry of lands intends to handover land for housing to private individuals under the disguise of farmer's representatives.
"Our Ministry has promised to do away with land barons so we wait to be guided accordingly. One thing for certain is that we will resist unprocedural usurpation of local authority functions by individuals," said Matsilele.
Minister Marapira addressed CSFAZ farmers at Buffalo Range where he said the housing project is set to benefit all sugarcane farmers despite their affiliation to various associations.
"There are farmers who visited our office on issues of houses. We came to identify the land which belongs to sugarcane farmers.
"I mean all sugarcane farmers and I have been shown the land here. Minister will come after recommendations to identify whether the land is suitable for housing project which will undergo another process of handing it over to the ministry of local government," said Marapira.local