|File picture of Chief Bere|
MASVINGO- Three village heads and a headman were recently dismissed from their traditional leadership roles by Chief Bere after they allegedly parceled out state land to tens of families in the Mushandike area without the Chief’s consent.
Chief Bere born Phineas Tafirei relieved the quartet of their duties after they were fingered in a land scandal where they stand accused of giving land to desperate home seekers.
This was confirmed by Chief Bere’s spokesperson, David Masomere who said the four were dismissed and fined beasts which they are yet to deliver to the chief.
“The four were found guilty when they appeared before the Chief’s court and they were ordered to pay a fine in form of a beast each, which they are yet to deliver. They were allocating land without the consent of the chief and they invaded some farms including black owned farms,” said Masomere.
Masomere however refused to disclose the names of the village heads but investigations by TellZim News identified them as Macwean Shanyurai, Major Makanyezi, Wickliffe Hadzirabwi and the other was only identified as Chikozho.
It is alleged that the quartet were demanding a fee ranging from US$200-500 for varying pieces of land without issuing any papers to confirm ownership.
The four allegedly invaded different farms including the Maponga farm where they had pegged pieces of land for sale.
Contacted for comment, Shanyurai said the verdict of Chief Bere’s court was not fair since there was no evidence to prove that he parceled out land to any villager.
“Today (June 18) we were in a meeting as the Bere clansmen to deliberate on that issue. The chief wasn’t forthcoming and we tried to engage the Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) to discuss on the technicalities of the allegations but the Chief didn’t comply. How can I be found guilty where there is no evidence? I asked them to bring one person who can testify that I gave them land and they couldn’t, they are just alleging that I had some people who were acting on my behalf,” said Shanyurai.
Masvingo Provincial Development Coordinator Jefta Sakupwanya confirmed meeting the Bere family but said the meeting was not only limited to land dispute issues.
“I met them, there were some family issues which they wanted to discuss with me. You can’t pick only one issue because this meeting didn’t only focus on land but involved a lot of family issues which they thought were supposed to be deliberated upon,” said Sakupwanya.
Chief Bere has reportedly ordered the four to evict the beneficiaries of the alleged illegal allocation of land or face criminal prosecution.
The Bere chieftainship was in 2019 also embroiled in a land dispute with the Mudenge family after they reportedly tried to grab the late Stanislaus Mudenge’s farm which is in Bere’s jurisdiction.
Village heads in different villages across the country have been accused of illegally parceling out land and continuous efforts by the government to stop them continues to fall on deaf ears.