War vets fail to utilise farm, resort to selling firewood

via War vets fail to utilise farm, resort to selling firewood – NewsDay October 2, 2015

WAR veterans who occupied the once-productive Jack Hulley Farm in Mutare South at the height of the land reform programme in 2000 are making brisk business selling firewood from exotic and indigenous trees on the property.

BY CLAYTON MASEKESA

The war vets have been accused of failing to utilise the land productively as they were concentrating on cutting down trees indiscriminately. Truckloads of firewood can be seen almost on a daily basis leaving the farm for Mutare.

In an interview with NewsDay during a tour of the farm yesterday, a villager near the farm, Andrew Masiyazi, said: “It is so painful to note that the farm that was the hub of farming activity in the Chigodora area is now in a sorry state. Those beautiful trees are no longer there — just huge tracts of land being misused.”

But a well-known veteran, Caleb Mwatongera, who has engaged in running battles with the villagers over the issue, said the occupants had a right to use the resources.

“This is our land and everything on it belongs to us. We fought for this country. We are in the business of selling firewood and I do not see what’s wrong with that,” Mwatongera said. “Moreover, the trees are in my farm and it means the trees now belong to me. We want to survive and feed our families — you know there was drought last year.”

He said they were earning up to $150 for a truckload of wood, while a cord of firewood would fetch $40.

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) provincial environmental officer Kingston Chitotombe was not immediately available for a comment yesterday.

But another EMA official said the environmental watchdog was working with other stakeholders including the police to address the situation.

“We held a meeting with stakeholders together with the farmers last month. We explained to them the implications of cutting down of trees, which speeds land degradation that would fast threaten productive farming,” said the official.

Protracted power outages have led to increased demand for alternative sources of energy. The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company has launched an 18-hour load-shedding programme countrywide.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    Trebor Ebagum 7 years ago

    After the land is decimated, they’ll move on….not too many white farms left though. This is what is being dealt with….a bunch of baboons. Too many to feed, I’d say.

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    DONT BLAME THE MISETABLE CREATURES. THATS ALL THEY KNOW.

  • comment-avatar
    Mugarbage 7 years ago

    They are a match and they deserve each other, but usually war vets do more damage than baboons.

  • comment-avatar
    grabmore 7 years ago

    One question for the war vet who ‘acquired’ the farm and who is cutting down all the trees….. what are you going to leave your children? A desert?

  • comment-avatar
    Charles Frizell 7 years ago

    The whore vets are kind of like huge locusts – but more destructive

  • comment-avatar

    And when you are finished with this country you will be welcomed with open arms by the BRITISH as a liberator–NAMES LIKE BABOON AND LOCUSTS ARE TOO GOOD FOR THESE PEOPLE!!

  • comment-avatar
    Bull Ant 7 years ago

    That’s mugghabis legacy. A barren zimbabwe

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 6 years ago

    Com’on ZimSit… you’re recycling old news.