- February 9, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
Miners are calling for a Joint Operation Command (JOC) for the Ministries responsible for land use and allocation to start working together as disputes continue rising of farmers invading land that has been allocated to miners and vice versa.
By Shantel Chisango
Land use conflict between Ministries leaves a lot to be desired as local government parcels out the land for urban expansion while Mines Ministry issue out claims on the same mining land, and on the other hand Ministry of Agriculture also parcelling plots.
Addressing a land dispute between a farmer and a miner, Norton Miners Association Chairperson Mr. Privelage Moyo told Mining Zimbabwe that government Ministries are lacking communication among each other and the result is chaos between farmers, miners and local governments.
“All Ministries to do with land issuing must work together as a team so that one ministry does not get to issue land which is already taken by either a farmer or a miner,” Moyo said.
THE MISSING LINK: COMMUNICATION
Moyo suggested the government form a JOC to prevent similar cases from occurring in the future.
“The government must form a JOC whereby all its head of departments are present providing information on the activities that transpire in one’s office so that they know which land is taken and which is vacant. Miscommunication from government departments hinders sectors involved from working effectively, going to and fro trying to solve the matter legally,” Moyo said.
Moyo further opined that the absence of transparency in carrying out duties by government departments is missing thereby resulting in the surge of corruption.
Putting emphasis on the issue, Moyo made reference to a land dispute which transpired in Mhondoro near Etna, Gweshe area of Mashonaland West, where he had gone to peg mines on the directive from the Mines Ministry only to find the land occupied by farmers who had been settled on the land by Kadoma DA Kunonga.
In another incident in Norton, Udicop through local government was given the land for housing where the Ministry of mines had claims, so now the gold is worthlessly buried under houses” Moyo said.
“According to the Ministry of mines map of Norton, more gold claims are shown or marked in areas that already have residential properties. There are areas and claims where new developments were taking over vast tracks of sustainable good and very rich minable land area”.
According to mine maps, some areas in Galloway, Ngoni Township, Katanga, Knockmalloch estate, and Knowe are built on Minable gold claims.
Moreso, he also made reference to a Norton miner at Ascott Mine who was last week approached by a farmer claiming to be the owner of the land which he has been mining on since 2010, both parties claiming to have title deeds of the land. Surely something can be done to fix this loophole in the system, he added.
Addressing this issue, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chegutu District Council Mr. Machingura said conflicts between miners and farmers over land are usually solved when there is proper clarification of documents on the land.
“Those issues are properly advised when people have sight to documentation from both parties,” he said
He further said that in cases of land disputes, the law favours the one who has owned the land for a longer period.
“The size of titled property matters and time of mine pegging, there is a constitutional provision where rights are protected, the only way can be dialogue,” he said.
Issues like these can easily be eradicated by having synergies between town councils, Agriculture and Mines Ministry consultations before any land is given away.