BY SILAS NKALA
INSIZA villagers in Matabeleland South have complained over the exploitation of local resources such as amacimbi (mopane worms) and gold by people from outside the district who destroy vegetation.
The villagers raised their discontent through the Godhlwayo Community Development Trust (DCDT) saying they would soon engage the traditional leaders to help preserve local resources.
They are pushing for the introduction of a revenue remittance system for outsiders who harvest natural resource in the area, with money collected used for infrastructural development.
DCDT director Nkululeko Tshuma said the district was experiencing an influx of people from other provinces harvesting mopane worms.
Tshuma said it was regretful that they destroyed vegetation and contaminated the environment.
He said the district was not benefiting from such activities.
“As Godlwayo Community Development Trust, we are holding meetings together with the villagers and our intentions are to engage our local traditional leaders, Chief Sibasa, Chief Ndube, Chief Vezi Maduna and Chief Jahana so that we ask them to preserve our local resources for the benefit of locals and the district at large,” Tshuma said.
Tshuma said after engaging the chiefs, they would refer the matter to the Insiza Rural District Council, Insiza district development co-ordinator and the local political leadership for further engagements.
“The issue is not of banning these people, but we say as much as they benefit from our resources the communities must also benefit from the revenue collected from them.
“The revenue collected will enable us locals to improve our infrastructure and also to assist the vulnerable members of the community in times of need,” Tshuma said.
Every year, people harvest amacimbi in Matabeleland South districts of Gwanda, Matobo, Umzingwane and Insiza.
Chief Jahana said amacimbi harvesters were a problem just like artisanal miners.
“No benefit is left to the communities as they are the custodian of the areas where there are amacimbi.
“The trust is right because we learnt from Marange diamonds.
“We should understand what the word devolution means. Locals must benefit from their resources,” he said.
Insiza district development co-ordinator Zacharia Jusa said: “Amacimbi are an open resource that everyone can have access to.
“The issue is people should harvest, process and sell them so that they benefit themselves rather than complaining about outsiders coming to harvest them.”
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