A CONFLICT has arisen among Lochard Farm occupants in Matabeleland South after the newly resettled villagers constructed a dam without the knowledge of fellow villagers.
The new villagers were allegedly allocated land illegally by some Zanu PF leaders and proceeded to contract JR Goddard to construct Jama Dam without informing other villagers that had been settled earlier at the farm.
Tensions boiled when the newly resettled villagers organised an opening ceremony of the dam and invited a government official as guest of honour.
Other settlers blocked the ceremony causing its postponement. One villager said they only heard rumours that there would an official opening of Jama Dam by a government official from Filabusi.
“We were really shocked when we heard that there was an official going to open the dam and we rushed to see what was happening,” the villager said.
“The Zanu PF leadership had called the people they had resettled illegally and invited a government official to officiate.”
The villager said the government official advised leaders to consult everyone in the village, resulting in the cancellation of the planned ceremony.
“The leaders have been avoiding us due to their corruption so the official said they should consult all villagers. The opening was postponed to next month (this month) as the constructors had also not finished their work,” the villager said.
Another villager said they were not against villagers that had been illegally sold stands, but corruption being perpetrated by ruling party officials.
“We are against the leaders who demanded bribes for them to allocate land.”
This comes after Zanu PF ward chairman Clifford Mashona was attacked by a resettled villager, who accused him of selling three stands that were later allocated to other people.
According to the latest villagers’ meeting minutes, a man bought three stands through Mashona and paid $600 for each stand.
“He was not refunded the money and surprisingly, they allocated the stands to other people.”
However, Mashona refuted the claims he sold land to people.
“I am not aware of what the villagers are saying; those are totally lies,” Mashona said.
The villagers accused Zanu PF leaders of unfair distribution of maize seed and fertilizers made available under the Presidential Input Scheme.