Empty Land Held By Nestle Blocks Toll Gate

Maputo — The construction of a toll gate in the central Mozambican town of Dondo, on the highway from Beira to Zimbabwe, is at a standstill because the contractor claims he has no authorization to work on land allocated to the multinational food company Nestlé.

According to a report in the Beira daily “Diario de Mocambique”, the contractor informed Sofala provincial governor Helena Taipo that he had wanted to build on the left hand side of the road, but since there were buildings here, he opted for the right hand side - only to find that Nestlé claimed what appeared to be empty land.

Confronted with this problem, Taipo was angered. She did not believe that such excuses should prevent the widening and rehabilitation of the road, or the construction of the toll gate - particular since the title to the land (DUAT) had been granted to Nestlé in 2010, but the company had done nothing with the land since then.

“This conflict cannot exist”, said Taipo, during a visit to Dondo. “The road is ours. Let's not begin to create problems where none exist. You are the mayor of Dondo and the district administrator. We want this place for building the road. We can't play around”.

“The Beira-Zimbabwe highway must happen”, the governor declared. “I don't want to hear, either the director of public works or the delegate of ANE (National Roads Administration) talking about conflicts among us. The only thing that matters is the construction, The toll gate must go ahead”.

As for Nestlé, it should have made use of the land it had requested. “Nestlé has had the rights to this land since 2010”, she said. “It was supposed to do something with the land. Nestlé is not complying with its obligations. There is a law which regulates this. We cannot create obstacles. This construction is one of our targets”.

SOURCE: AIM http://www.poptel.org.uk/mozambique-news/