Home » Governance » Minister Denies Looting Tokwe Mukosi Donations

UNDER fire Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti has appealed for more donations to help victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi flood held at Chingwizi Holding Camp and rejected as lies claims he was looting the aid materials.

Bhasikiti said the situation at the holding camp was dire and appealed to the corporate world to ignore reports of looting by top government officials.

“As I speak, the people at Chingwizi are starving and we appeal to the corporate world to continue assisting before the situation goes out of hand,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Reports from the holding camp and from government whistle blowers suggest that there is looting of donated food stuffs by top government officials with Bhasikiti named as the lead actor.

But denying the looting allegations, the minister said the process was open to everyone who wishes to reconcile the goods received and those which have been distributed.

“We have done three audits so far and no anomaly has been detected,” he said.

Nearly 3,000 families were evacuated from the disaster area in February this year after heavy flooding caused by the partial collapse of the Tokwe-Mukosi dam wall washed away their homes, crops and other valuables.

The villagers have since been accommodated at the crowded Chingwizi holding camp, the majority refusing relocation to new plots until government makes good promises to compensate them.

Their dire plight, reported across the world, has been characterised by sheer desperation and a feeling of neglect by a government that has failed to meet cash pledges offered as pay-off for losing their homes.

Last week Bhasikiti barred a group of journalists from five mainstream media not to enter the camp saying there was scandalous reportage on the case with some suggesting that the incident could have been ignited by government.

A local NGO, the Zimbabwe National Council for Welfare of Children, was also part of the group which included children from ZBC’s Kidznet unit.

During the stopover at his provincial offices, Bhasikiti grabbed the donations, insisting he would deliver them himself as provincial head.

He said the journalists and the rest of the group must be content with leaving the donated goods at his provincial offices where they would be added to other donated goods awaiting delivery to Chingwizi.

Bhasikiti said the story of Tokwe-Mukosi had been reported enough adding any journalist who felt they had something new to say should go through his provincial office’s press department which would facilitate a guided tour of the camp.

Source : New Zimbabwe