Boundary dispute leads to violence

The long-running boundary dispute between chiefs Naison Chikwanda of Masvingo and Phineas Makore of Gutu took a new turn last week when one person was seriously injured after an attack by a gang believed to be linked to Dromore Farm,

Dromore, 35 kilometres east of Masvingo city, is at the centre of controversy, with Chikwanda claiming that it falls under his jurisdiction, while Makore argues that the farm has been under his control since the colonial era.

Chikwanda, who used to live in the Chikwanda communal lands of Masvingo, has since relocated to Dromore Farm, where he now occupies a farmhouse after being allocated land under the government’s land reform programme.

The boundary dispute reached boiling point last week when Edmore Makore was spotted by Chikwanda’s aides working in the fields on a sacred day, traditionally known as ‘chisi’ .

Under Chikwanda chisi is on Wednesday, but under Makore, it is on Thursday.

Edmore Makore, who believed that he still came under Makore’s jurisdiction, was shocked when armed men raided his field and homestead demanding to know why he was working on a day set aside for resting.

Tempers flared and the gang, who used knives, logs, knobkerries, spears, bows and arrows, are alleged to have attacked Makore. At the time of going to print Makore was in Masvingo general hospital receiving treatment.

The attackers were allegedly using Chikwanda’s vehicle. Police in Masvingo this week confirmed the incident and said they had arrested seven people.

According to police sources, those arrested include the four sons of Chikwanda and a headman in the area. They are being charged with attempted murder.

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