Chingwizi villagers demand to see Mugabe

MASVINGO - Flood victims at Chingwizi Transit Camp have demanded to meet President Robert Mugabe to express disgruntlement over their appalling living conditions and government neglect.

The 3 000 families from the flooded Tokwe-Mukorsi basin were relocated to Chingwizi Camp — about 150km away from where they lived — to a sugar cane farm and ethanol project jointly owned by the ruling Zanu PF and Green Fuels.

The flood victims are currently at loggerheads with government which is attempting to force them to move to newly-pegged one-hectare plots.

They are resisting, demanding that they be paid compensation for the properties they lost during the floods.

Mike Mudyanembwa, Chingwizi refugees spokesperson told the Daily News yesterday that the families had failed to find a solution with government ministers and now wanted the intervention of the president himself.

Mudyanembwa spoke two weeks after the villagers heckled and chased away 10 ministers including Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Information minister Jonathan Moyo, Agriculture minister Joseph Made, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, Environment minister Savior Kasukuwere, Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa, Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti for attempting to convince them to move out of the camp to one-hectare plots.

The delegation was booed by villagers, who flatly refused to chant Zanu PF slogans. The ministers had to abort the visit after they failed to address the irate villagers.

In early April, Chombo warned the displaced families to accept relocation to the one-hectare plots at Nuanetsi Ranch or face denial of food assistance.

Chombo told the villagers in April: “We should make it clear that food assistance will only be given to those families who agree to move to their permanent plots, because we need to decongest Chingwizi temporary camp.”

Mudyanembwa said: “We are facing a myriad of problems here, from terrible living conditions to the issue of our plots. We are failing to get a solution with government officials, therefore we will be very happy if we can get the opportunity of having an audience with the president, maybe we can get assistance.”

The general feeling in the camp was that the president should visit them and see for himself the appalling conditions they are forced to live in. The camp is severely overcrowded, with each family allocated a one-room tent regardless of the number of family members.

The  villagers have vowed to resist government efforts to de-congest the camp by moving them to one-hectare plots unless they are given compensation first.

Before moving from Tokwe-Mukorsi, the displaced people had been promised five-hectare plots per family, where they would be free to grow crops of their choice.

Government is failing to raise about $8 million required to compensate the villagers.

The villagers argue that they cannot move to the new plots because they do not have money to build permanent structures. They insist that they need to be paid first.

Government has since cut food supplies to Chingwizi families to force the villagers out of the camp but they have stayed put despite growing hunger.

Madyanembwa was optimistic that if the villagers were accorded the opportunity to meet Mugabe, their problems could be solved.

“I think if we are to meet the president or get a chance to tell him our story here, he will order government officials to solve our problems the way we want,” he said.

He said villagers had lost faith in several government ministers who visited them countless times. He said the ministers promised to take their grievances forward and get a solution, “but lied.”

The villagers have vowed not to entertain any government minister anymore. 


Comments (9)

Bhora mughedhi

JSC - 23 May 2014

Govt may be owing them yes - but Govt has no money. The President should not meet them - where will he get the USD8m?

G Tichatonga - 23 May 2014

Even if Mugabe comes there what is going to do ? You people why do you behave as if you were born last week , since 1980 the man has completely destroyed this country and you still believe in him .stupid morons. you were not only ones affected by floods in the country mind you . Next time you know how to vote not to vote for idiots because you will suffer like that.

Diibulaanyika - 23 May 2014

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WERTHJITFCF - 23 May 2014

If there is justice peace can prevail in a democratic country. Please stop insulting these innocent families .

WATYOKA T . S. - 23 May 2014

Aah, ari kuchipatara uyu! Haauye uyu nokuti ane ziso risiri kuita zvakanaka

grandy - 23 May 2014

These people must just move onto the free land adjacent to them on the Nuanetsi ranch. What is the problem 3000 x 6 is only 18 000 hectares of the 350 000 hectares. Where is the problem. Elsewhere someone is aying tine matitle deeds . Title deed refarm muZimbabwe. Granted these people must not occupy a portion earmarked for a project but hey there is too much land at stack. Lets be real

Timothy Thorton - 23 May 2014

@G.Tichatonga you can't be serious, I take it you are joking. If Government doesn't have money then Sekuru Bob is seriously sick in the head wasting the little we have on numerous Government funded personal trips for eye treatments. This is a Zimbabwean leader who obviously does not have confidence in his own health institutions.

Munhu Chaiye - 23 May 2014

Mugabe is a sworn tribalist. I can bet my last dollar the man will not set foot in Masvingo. If this had happened in zezuruland, a solution to the problem would have been found a long time ago. Kutamba nenguva. The man is enjoying his last days in Singapore.

Tonyo - 26 May 2014

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