Jera kamwe hariteyiwe…

( Operation Order No To Land Baronism)

It is a welcome move that responsible authorities are now acting in bringing sanity on the land issue.

Mostly, urban areas are now havens of land baronism, whereby people who claimed to have political connections, ultra vires, created shanty towns in urban areas.

These new so called ‘ locations,’ have no access roads, sewerage and recreational facilities. Unfortunately most of these houses are on unsuitable and inhabitable pieces of land.

Some desperate home seekers have their houses under power pylon lines and others are now disturbing our precious wetlands.

 When these houses were under construction in wetlands, does any city council employee inspected them? If the answer is yes, so the police must visit the housing departments of every urban area and question them.

The land commission which was carried out in Zimbabwe in 2018, came to no fruition. Land barons in urban areas breathed fire, when they were asked; what they thought were doing by capturing city councils’ lands.

Although ‘hit and run’ journalism played its part, it never brought closure to Zimbabweans. The citizens are still waiting to hear, the outcome of these cartels. Some have not changed their spots and are still in the game.

If Zimbabweans are going to take this operation seriously, they need heads to roll instead of pretending to be working. Land baronism in A1 and A2 model farms was not supposed to be carried out by guys from the Ministry of Lands.

 These guys if the Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Committee was the one doing the exercise, unemployed youths were going to replace many of them. So at the moment, we are phoning to selves ( kuzvifonera).

 Most of these alleged illegal settlers got their ‘ offer letters ‘ from the same ministry which is now investigating them. Uyadelela, you guys.

 Double allocations of the same pieces of land are done by the same lands ministry guys. Maybe they do this unknowingly or for some token.

This exercise needs a holistic approach not a ‘ show off ‘ of Alice in Wonderland. Many resettled people, especially in the above models have lost faith in how this ministry works.

Many are not sure if they really own those plots or someone has an offer letter on the same plot. This ministry needs to be professional and not to act as it was part of the team that helped God, when he created this earth.

They are civil servants and must pay heed to the dictates of being civil, not the other way around.

In tribal trust lands, these overzealous guys must also exercise caution; as these lands are under the jurisdiction of ‘ real’ chiefs’. When l was growing up in Chikwanda Tribal Trust Land, the chief and kraal heads, had the full right to welcome any land seeking Zimbabwean.

 In the 1970s and 80s, land in Zimbabwe was not a sought after resource, many people from Masvingo relocated to Hurungwe, Gokwe, Chilonga, Chikombedzi, Lower Gweru etc, in search of greener pastures. Some were forcibly moved from Chirumanzu, Bikita, etc to go and populate areas which were vacant, in order not to degrade some areas and also to give way to white farmers, good example, people who were moved from the Central Estate of Mvuma to Gokwe, so that that land could be used for cattle ranching by the ” baas’.

 Land was abundant due to low population in the country by that time. So chiefs in rural areas have and had a very important role they play/ed in this country.

 From solving civil disputes, bringing order in their communities and also providing direction to their subjects. They played this role without favour, and they were greatly respected for that.

And chieftainships by that time moved from one house to another smoothly. These guys respected their culture and heritage, when dealing with these coronation issues. And they also brought rains to us.

 So, they occupy a very critical space in our different cultures. Last time one Zaka chief was very much publicized for allocating pieces of land near Jerera for a token. Then l thought about the 1275 crime of scandalum magnatum (designed by the British to protect the reputations of “great men of the realm”).

 If we celebrate when our ” great men” are being humiliated then we are in a culture war or wokeism. As on chiefs these allocations of land is not ‘baronism,’ but a duty bestowed upon them.

As l mentioned above that in the 20 th century, in rural Zimbabwe, a new settler in an area, would brew beer and slaughter a fat cow for him and the new family he had become part of to feast together.

 This was a ‘ token of appreciation’ to the spirits of his new home. This feast was done for the chief or kraal head and his subjects.

 Today if someone is accommodated in a rural set- up and gives a chief or kraal head some ‘ dime’ ; the kraal head or chief is accused of ‘ corruption.’ Forgetting that it is just a gift, as was done by those who brew beer.

 Those are just perks for them to enjoy with their inner circle of advisers. I believe, if the late Mararike was with us today, I am sure he would have supported my theory. So, to be a civilised community we must not run away from our culture and heritage.

 We need to mix the modern way of doings things and the old to come up with a complex cultural hybrid. Lest we not tag our chiefs to be primary school prefects who command no respek (respect ) in their communities.

They will only command it when people need a lift in their latest jaguars. Jera kamwe hariteyiwe… Yes to the operation of stamping out baronism.

We need to cleanse our urban areas first and not trying to play hard ball on poor rural folks. In Harare title deeds of houses are cloned and many people have fallen prey to this scam.

How do these scammers get access to these precious documents? We need these shenanigans to be solved first and not disturb our farmers whom the ministry offered them land two decades ago.

” The Habsburgs, of whom it was said that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” The ministry of lands, ‘ Big Brother is watching you.

By Aaron Gono

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