Aspiring opposition MP pushes for Irrigation Scheme plot holders’ land security 

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By Staff Reporter

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) parliamentary aspirant for Silobela, Ephraim Ndlovu has called on government to provide plot owners in the Ruya and Gobo areas with trust deeds for the land awarded to them as compensation following colonial era Exchange Irrigation Scheme.

In an interview Ncube said people in the two areas were displaced by the then colonial government from their native Hunyani area and were settled in the Irrigation Scheme as a form of compensation for the displacements.

However, despite being the plot holders there is no documentation binding the arrangement raising fears they may be relocated again in the future.

“In my Juristic thinking and fairness, it occurs clear to me that the conduct of the colonial government in moving the people of Gobo and Ruya from the Central Estates was unfair and was coupled with massive material and psychological losses on the part of these of our people.  To that extent and further to it, quite clearly the intention of the Smith government when it constructed the Exchange irrigation and gave them individual plots was to compensate them from the loss suffered and caution them in the current context of their present dwelling place of relocation,” Ndlovu said.

He pointed out the need for are legal instruments for the plots to support the resettlement.

“What appears missing to me in this scenario is a legal and binding documentation that  protects this arrangement from disturbances by any successive administration.

“While the Exchange irrigation and plots are in themselves in rural land which is under the President, nothing at law stops him from causing a proper survey of the area concerned and giving security to these of our people by giving to them a deed of grant over their plots. In my view, the plot holders who are our parents, brothers and sisters must congregate themselves into a Gobo-Ruya Irrigation Trust and have the plots granted to them in the fashion of a Trust deed that is receiving a deed of grant from the President.”

He added: “This issue shall anchor the demands of the people of Silobela in the next parliament after elections. Whether through an elected member of parliament or through a private member’s bill, it shall be my duty together with these of my people to ask of this humble request from government.”