Chisumbanje villagers to get compensation?

Nearly 2,000 Chisumbanje villagers are set to get compensation for their farming plots taken over by Green Fuel in 2009 to pave way for a multi-million dollar ethanol project.

They applauded a government appointed committee led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara for brokering the deal after a deadlock that had almost crippled operations at the plant. Wedzerai Gwenzi, one of the community leaders, confirmed that they had submitted a list of names of farmers to receive compensation to Mutambara’s office.

The compensation list, in the hands of The Zimbabwean, bears names of the affected farmers, size of land taken and the number of livestock lost during the takeover. One of the Chisumbanje community representatives, Rabson Nyakurwa, reported that the company had agreed to compensate them, but added that it was not yet clear how that would happen.

Nyakurwa added that they had proposed that compensation be in the form of plots or money. If they were to be given plots, he said, they would insist on title deeds so as to secure themselves against further displacements. Member of Parliament for Chipinge South under which Chisumbanje falls, Meki Makuyana, confirmed that he was part of the team that submitted names to Mutambara.

Lillian Muungani, Green Fuel’s spokesperson promised to return this paper’s call when contacted for a comment but failed to do so. Further attempts to reach her were fruitless.

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