Govt must avert disaster at Chingwizi

HARARE - It has been a dark and desperate time for villagers relocated to Chingwizi holding camp.

After the army moved in to quash protests by villagers rightly resisting relocation without compensation, most of them do not know where to run.

Some have taken refuge in nearby mountains, with no access to food and other basics.  It’s inhumane for anyone to be living in these conditions.

And there is a humanitarian disaster unfolding there.

It’s heartbreaking to see those affected suffer like this, because of government’s shoddy workmanship in the construction of the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam wall.

By the end of February, an estimated 2 194 households had been moved to the Chingwizi resettlement camp.

They were told that they were moved as part of government’s initial relocation plan, which identified these households as being at risk of future flooding due to the construction of the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam.

These were productive farmers, who lost their homes and livelihoods after an estimated 1 056 ha of food crops were submerged by the floods, leading to a loss of 718 tonnes of potential harvest, thereby compromising food and nutrition security until the next harvest in 2015.

Thousands of villagers chucked out of the camp last weekend are in urgent need of aid.

These people are suffering a double tragedy: from the devastating floods and now from their own government’s heavy handedness!

We urge humanitarian agencies to undertake a field mission to see first hand the devastation and damage caused to the Chingwizi people.

The villagers there need aid, along with identifying any pressing needs in protection and nutrition.

The help is to be provided now before this disaster consumes human lives and the crisis will only grow by the day.

Now is a crucial time to stand in solidarity with the people in Chingwizi.

The government has  seemingly lost love for these people as it has stopped medical consultations, taken away fixed medical camps and mobile medical teams along with water supplies.

The need for relief efforts is huge. Between 2 000 and 3 000 people have taken refuge  in the mountains, including women and children.

The tactic of the Zanu PF  regime is probably to starve them until they give in to their demands for compensation.

How callous is that?  Where is the love from our government? Is this how we treat the vulnerable?

Was there any need to conscript the army to clobber unarmed villagers and destroy their makeshift shelter?

Where is our collective conscience as a people?

Is this “the government for the people, by the people with the people” that Zanu PF harps on?

Comments (3)

The Chingwizi disaster is one of the exhibits depicting gvt's glaring insensitivity to the suffering of innocent people.Just look at the thousands displaced people at Mazoe to pave way for the first family's business empire.

ndombolo - 6 August 2014

It is ironic that citizens of a country would be subjected to this level of harassment because someone has not done his job. It is also ironic that in a country where pple including the Minister of provincial affairs have received tracks and tracks of land simply for being Zimbabweans, those whose land has been taken away from them by a national project should be denied land in a country with so much land. We need to be serious. Governments should protect the vulnerable groups of our society and not abuse it. What is happening is the reverse of that responsibility

Timothy Thorton - 6 August 2014


fivestar - 7 August 2014

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