Boost for Gokwe South, Chirumhanzu expansion

GOVERNMENT has approved an expansion programme for Gokwe South Rural District Council (RDC), by allocating it more land in the surrounding communities while a deal to compensate and relocate the affected villagers is being worked out, officials have said.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Gokwe South RDC chairperson for the planning committee, councillor Tawanda Rukanda yesterday said council was now waiting for the adoption of guidelines and recommendations for compensation and relocation of the communities that will be displaced.

“The planning committee has adopted the guidelines and recommendations for compensation of local communities displaced by growth point expansion and rural development projects,” he said.

“The document will now be tabled for discussion during the next full council meeting for adoption as a resolution for the council.”

The guidelines and recommendations were produced by a Midlands working group, which had representatives from government and the eight rural district councils in the province with the support from the Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation.

Gokwe South RDC chief executive, Silas Velani said the guidelines would help in addressing land challenges faced by the local authority, which has witnessed some traditional leaders allegedly selling land about 10 km from council’s boundaries.

“We have seen an appetite for money where unscrupulous people sell State land around the RDC,” he said.

“As council, we will soon approach such illegal settlements and the guidelines and recommendations will help us in their relocation and subsequent compensation.”

Gokwe South assistant district administrator, Stewart Gwatiringa, said the expansion of growth points was in line with government’s vision of turning the country into a middle income economy by 2030.

In a related development, government also approved the expansion programme of Chirumanzu Rural District Council by giving it more land surrounding Mvuma town.

Mvuma district administrator, Tapson Chivanga said over 100 families would be affected by the expansion of Mvuma town, which is under Chirumanzu and the guidelines and recommendations for compensation would be followed to avoid conflict.