Home » General » Chingwizi Camp Dwellers Resist Relocation, Want Cash

Over 3 000 people who escaped flooding at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam to Chingwizi Holding Camp are refusing to move to permanent plots demanding that Government first pays them compensation for leaving their original homes and for damaged property. The villagers have accused the Government of reneging on an earlier promise to allocate each family four hectares of land.

Families are getting one-hectare plots each.

Government has pegged nearly 1 000 plots along the Mbizi railway line in Nuanetsi Ranch as it seeks to decongest Chingwizi.

The situation at the holding camp is tense, with Government reportedly still to pay people nearly US$7 million in relocation compensation.

The money was supposed to be paid prior to relocation from the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam flood basin in Chivi before disaster struck.

Government assured the people of payment once they moved to Chingwizi, but the flood victims said the promise had been broken.

They told The Herald they would not leave the holding camp because they did not have money to build homes at the new plots.

Mr Simon Mudzungudzi, a village head, said most flood victims were now paupers.

“The simple question which authorities should answer is how do they expect us to move to the permanent sites and start a new life when we have nothing?” he asked.

Mrs Letwin Mufandaedza added: “I do not even have grass for thatching the new huts that I am supposed to build after leaving this camp.

“When we were in Chivi such things were easily available, but the story is very different here. In fact, life is more difficult here at Chingwizi as compared to our days in Chivi.”

Mr Nevison Machengete said lack of land was a thorny issue.

“It pains us that Government promised to allocate each family four hectares, but now they have changed that to one hectare,” he said.

He accused the Government of trying to force them to grow sugar cane under irrigation.

Mwenezi district administrator Mr Stanley Chamisa said only 30 families had moved from the holding camp to permanent plots.

Mr Chamisa said Government, through the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, was trying to resolve the stand-off.

Some of the plots are about 10km from the holding camp, making it difficult for families to collect food rations at Chingwizi.

Source : The Herald