Villagers refuse to move

At least 6000 villagers near the site of the massive Tokwe Mukosi dam now under construction are refusing to move.

Hanging on to the lands of their ancestors, they now a stumbling block to the progress of the project that has been dragging on for years now.

Thousands of families feel the government’s decision to turn their ancestral lands into a game park does not warrant their relocation. They also argued that the compensation they received in the now defunct Zim-dollar was insufficient.

The Tokwe-Mukosi dam will be the second largest man-made dam in the country after Kariba. According to several villagers interviewed, their intended relocation to areas such as Mwenezi will not benefit them.

“Why should leave our homes when we will not benefit from the dam. We also want water and the areas where we will be relocated are far worse than our present location,” said one villager.

Villager Simon Ganduri said, “Why should we leave the graves of our ancestors? This is where our roots are and we will not leave.”

Upon completion the $20 million that is being constructed in a joint venture between the government and an Italian construction firm will benefit the town of Masvingo and Chiredzi sugarcane estates.

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