Tokwe-Mukosi Dam completion threatened

MASVINGO - Government could miss the deadline to complete the giant Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Chivi owing to lack of funds to resettle close to a thousand families who live in the flood basin.

The dam was targeted to be completed by November, two months from now.

But government is failing to raise money to compensate and relocate the villagers to Nuanetsi Ranch.

Felix Chikovo, the Masvingo provincial administrator, told reporters the prospects of meeting the deadline for the completion of the dam were very high but the challenge was to relocate villagers.

“We are facing financial challenges to relocate and compensate these people as we near the completion of the dam,” Chikovo said. “Our constructors sounded confident that they will meet the November deadline but we are still to move some people due to funds shortage.”

Chikovo said the government needed money to compensate villagers so they could build new houses when they move to their new base.

Government needs about $2 million to resettle the families.

“It’s very difficult to say the exact figure needed to resettle these people because they have different structures to be compensated for,” Chikovo said.

“But our first batch which had a similar figure of the families cost about $2 million which means we could require almost the same amount.”

Efforts to convince the villagers to use their resources to relocate so that government will refund them later could not yield results as the proposal was outrightly rejected.

Some villagers who spoke to the Daily News said they will only move after receiving compensation for their housing structures and other properties they will leave behind.

“We will not move unless we are paid first,” said a villager who declined to be named.

“We need our compensation and then we can move, besides that we will stay and we don’t care whether their dam is finished or not.”

When completed, Tokwe-Mukosi is set to become the biggest inland dam in the country, taking over from Lake Mutirikwi, another huge water body in the province.

The dam will have a capacity of 1,8 billion cubic metres with a flood area straddling over 9 600 hectares.

 

Comments (1)

Mugabe should pay for the relocation of these people with money from his own account. He looted from Zimbabwe for decades so why can't he spare a paltry two million dollars to move the country forward? Eish. The level of selfishness muZanu inosemesa.

Mutsa - 7 September 2013

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