Chiredzi — A local traditional leader says people from Harare should not be allocated sugarcane plots in the 4000 hectare Kilimanjaro project.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned the US$40 million scheme recently amid reports some political bigwigs from Harare were planning to muscle their way into the lucrative scheme.
These rumours did not impress Hlaisi Mundau who is Chief Tshovani, Chiredzi.
The traditional leader told the CAJ News Africa it would be unfair to have people from Harare benefiting from the sugarcane plots while locals were side-lined.
"We initiated this project back during the reign of the late President Robert Mugabe so that people from the Lowveld can benefit," said Chief Tshovani.
"What we do not want is to hear or see people from Harare grabbing land while those in Chiredzi district benefit nothing from a project which is in their home area.
"Go to Harare looking for a job, you will never get employed as they give preference to those from Harare only, so why do we need to have them down here in our area."
President Mnangagwa warned people against squabbling over the new plots.
"I would like to make this clear, there should be no quarrel between Tongaat Hulett, traditional chiefs or local government administration in Masvingo.
"Agricultural land belongs to the State and the head of State is me, so you should not spend time quarrelling among yourselves because you do not own land," said Mnangagwa.
The project, which will see virgin land being cleared and developed into plot is set to be complete by next year.
The government, Tongaat Hulett and a number of banks are working together to make the Kilimanjaro sugarcane project a success.