Displaced villagers battle for payment

Pressure is piling on government to ensure villagers being displaced by the construction of Tokwe Mukosi dam are compensated, amid reports that government has not yet secured over $4 million needed to set up essential social amenities for the affected families.

A detailed report submitted to the Ministry of Local Government by the Provincial Administrator’s office last week indicated that over 6,000 people will be moved from the dam construction site before the onset of this year’s rainy season. It requires urgent funding for the establishment of schools, clinics, boreholes as well as general compensation.

The villagers will be relocated in the Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenzi district and have been allocated 500 plots to form villages. The report indicated that the affected villagers will require at least four boreholes, four schools and four clinics as a temporary measure as the new area does not have such services.

“We just completed the head count of people who require urgent relocation and we are moving fast to ensure they are all relocated before the onset of the rainy season,” Masvingo PA, Felix Chikovo, told The Zimbabwean last week.

He said of the first 3,000 people who had been relocated since construction began last year , government has so far compensated a mere 190 families, chewing $1million, which he said was an ‘drop in the ocean’

“We have applied for funding but we are still to receive the allocation,” he added.

The affected villagers last year formed the Tokwe Mukosi People’s Rehabilitation and Resettlement Trust to co-ordinate the issue of compensation of the displaced people.

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