Family invades Chinese mine houses

ARDA TRANSAU - A Johanne Marange Apostolic Church family comprising 14 wives relocated from Chiadzwa to Arda Transau by Anjin and currently squatting in a compound due to a housing unit stand-off have invaded 15 houses belonging to another Chinese diamond mining company in protest, the Daily News on Sunday has learnt.

An ailing 89-year-old Philemon Johwani Kaiboni Kambeni  and all his 14 wives on Monday besieged the district administrator (DA)’s office demanding decent and commensurate accommodation comparable to the 17 three-roomed houses and 17 kitchens that he owned back in Chiadzwa before being moved into the compound on February 27, 2011.

Cephas Gwayagwaya, Anjin Reallocation Community (ARC) spokesperson, said the Kambeni party has also been joined by 82-year-old Jingo Mangiza who has also been left homeless by the reallocation process.

Each of the 16 invaded housing units is estimated at $55 000.

To the Arda Transau community, Gwayagwaya said, the two Chinese companies are just one and the same.

According to the ninth and fourteenth wife who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday upon their visit to the DA last Monday, their super-sized family had refused an eight-roomed housing unit, 14 bathrooms, 14 toilets and 14 round thatched huts because they were not commensurate to the infrastructure they  had lost, were not adequate for all 14 wives and their children.

“It looks embarrassing, you cannot expect us to stay there as a lifetime home,” one of Kambeni’s wife said, refusing to give her full name.

Of major concern to the family, which has suddenly triggered their frenzied efforts for a decent home, is that Anjin appears to have stopped all major construction work and moved all its equipment out of the area, leaving only a few maintenance people.

Kambeni’s wives accused the DA’s office of wasting their time and resources with invitations that did not yield any results but which, this time was only meant to pacify other villagers who had made noise demanding that the family be given accommodation at a public meeting in Arda Transau last week.

“The DA is not saying anything but that we should not have raised our issue in public like we did last week,” Kambenis ninth wife said, again refusing with her full name.

“We have wasted our time and money! There was no reason why he should have invited us here it was just a populist gesture at our cost.”

Fungai Mbetsa, the provincial administrator, earlier expressed frustration at what he feels is Kambeni’s goal shifting after receiving a standard three-roomed-house each for two wives claiming it will distribute them over a bigger geographical area which made him uncomfortable as he would not be able to monitor their fidelity.

This was however, disputed by Kambeni’s two wives who said they had at some point last year moved into 14 houses but were driven out in preference to other families.

Kambeni’s wives now feel their best hope for a lasting solution would be an audience with President Robert Mugabe.

“Only the president can help us now, if only we can get his audience,” the youngest of Kambeni’s wives said.

“We made our contributions during the liberation war sacrificing our business, livestock and security only now to be treated like unworthy refugees in our own country,” the wife added.

Gwayagwaya confirmed to the Daily News on Sunday that Kambeni’s case was now a cause for concern to his former neighbours who knew how they used to stay and the pauper status they have now been reduced to.

“Everyone is pained with the treatment government and Anjin are giving them because they used to live comfortably and even ran successful businesses back in the 70s only running aground due to their generous support to the liberation struggle as their home was transformed into a de facto guerrilla base,” Gwayagwaya said.

Comments (2)

ndiyo nyika yezimbabwe. Vanoita zvavanoda nevanhu. Ivo mapositori vanochemei handiti ndiyo bhora mugedhi yacho here?

mwana wapresident - 15 December 2013

Kikikiki. Mwana waPresident wandidambura mbabvu mwanawe. Bhora mugedhi madhodha!!!!!!!!!!

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 16 December 2013

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