Chisumbanje Communities-Green Fuel Land Dispute is a Livelihood Issue

The land dispute between Green Fuel and local villagers in Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa has gone beyond local villagers directly affected to become a district, province and national concern. The more than decade long dispute has been over stretched by the political leadership who have deliberately arm twisted the local villagers by siding with the capital interests of the proprietor Billy Rautenbach.

Platform for Youth Development (PYD) notes with great concern remarks by Movement for Democratic Change leader, Nelson Chamisa during his address at Kondo Township in Chipinge where he promised to return the land forcefully taken from Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa villagers by Green Fuel.  Like we have said before, we strongly believe that the solution must go beyond rally talk to action.

The land dispute in Chisumbanje started in 2008 and the MDC Alliance Presidential candidate has been a parliamentarian since then. The fact that Chamisa is vocal and outspoken in parliament, make us convinced that he can use his position to fight for the rights of Chisumbanje communities who were dispossessed of their land without compensation.

It is important to note that this land dispute is not new and over the years, many politicians have made countless promises that to this day have not been fulfilled. The affected communities therefore would only take such promises seriously, if it is escalated and raised at formal platforms including parliament and cabinet.

As a leader of the community, mandated to broker on the conflict, PYD invites all genuine actors to support the reviving of a platform where stakeholders meet and discuss the solutions. Solutions that are lasting must be less political and more pragmatic. The affected communities in Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa have the solution which the political leaders must adhere to as guidelines.

The affected local community stands ready to engage in processes that quickly bring solutions to the long standing dispute which the present government is reluctant to address. Failure, the now impatient villagers will soon explode in the manner the communities in Chiadzwa are doing.

Considering the seriousness of this land battle in Chisumbanje, no political leader is welcome in Chipinge if they cannot talk about the real election issues such as protecting the vulnerable communities from imposing investors such as Green Fuel.

As PYD, we also believe that solutions to this land problem in Chisumbanje lies with the communities and political leaders should not seek to gain mileage from proposing their own remedies on the people.

It is also important to reiterate that the affected communities do not believe that the land dispute is an issue that can be used for populism as it borders on livelihoods. The affected communities have always raised this point to all politicians who visited Chisumbanje including the ruling Zanu PF government.

Source: Platform for Youth Development (PYD)

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