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» » EMA wants checks and balance on traditional leaders’ land allocation powers

Stakeholders who attended the Ema meeting in Redcliff

Rutendo Chitore

– The Environmental Management Agency (Ema) wants traditional leaders in rural local authorities to pay more attention to environmental health and sustainable land use patterns when parcelling land to their subjects.
At an engagement meeting held recently in Redcliff, Ema Midlands provincial manager Benson Bhasera said under the new approach, local authorities will be expected to craft by-laws that govern land allocation by traditional leaders.
"We are meeting with traditional leaders and councils so that we raise aware-ness on that issue. We are encouraging the traditional leaders and councils to come up with by-laws to govern how people are given land by traditional lead-ers.
"We know it's their right (to give land) – cultural rights – but it should be done in a systematic way and it should be planned for rather than have a village head doing whatever he wants," said Bhasera
The environmental watchdog has expressed deep concern over traditional lead-ers who are settling people in catchment areas, wetlands and grazing pastures.
Research shows that such practices are responsible for siltation of water bod-ies, destructions of wetlands and soil erosion.local

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