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land conflict now on the international platforms
Platform for Youth Development Trust’s advocacy for justice for the people of Chisumbanje received a major boost when the organisation got an invitation to speak at a Land Conflict in Southern Africa conference organised by the Fund for Development and Partnership in Africa (FEPA) together with Centre for African Studies in Basel, Switzerland, Europe.
The Conference focused on Zimbabwe and South Africa trajectories of Land Conflict as well as the Impact of the land Reform in Zimbabwe. Claris Madhuku represented PYD while Wedzerai Gwenzi represented Chisumbanje community. The conference afforded PYD a platform to share the nature and form of the conflict in Chisumbanje to an international audience.
As an organisation, this was an opportunity to reveal the contradictions of the land reform in Zimbabwe to the suffering and poverty Chisumbanje villagers are going through because of the land conflict.
Presentations by PYD and a representative of the community touched delegates to the conference who expressed solidarity with the people of Chisumbanje. At the end, the conference came up with four resolutions targeting the government of Zimbabwe.
1. Government of Zimbabwe to
respect the rights of the communities mentioned above and to ensure that
the District Ethanol Plant Implementation Committee (DEPIC) installed
by Cabinet in September
2. The Government of Zimbabwe should ensure that Green Fuels satisfactorily compensate the villagers of Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa who lost their land, crops, and livestock. This is to be done through the allocation of land for food production and for out grower purposes. We support the villagers’ demands for 2 ha of irrigable land in addition to land allocated to out growers.
3. The Government of Zimbabwe is to ensure that the employment system of the company caters for a 75% local content as agreed at stakeholders meetings.
4. The Government of Zimbabwe should ensure that the contracted settler farmers get compensation for their land user rights. The Government of Zimbabwe should monitor and protect the land tenure system by respecting the villagers’ rights to land, food, health, water and freedom of association and speech. The Government of Zimbabwe must safeguard the community from exploitation and abuse by the investor’s pursuit of profit.
At the end of the conference, the Conference participants contributed US$ 1000( one thousand) towards the Chipinge accident that happened in Manzvire involving a T35 and a truck carrying ethanol fuel from Chisumbanje on the 30th of October 2013.
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