Cash windfall for displaced villagers

Villagers displaced by the Tokwe-Mukosi dam have started receiving compensation from the government for inconvenience and loss of property.

The pay-outs of between $2,000 and $25,000 came as a surprise to most. Masvingo provincial adminstrator Felix Chikovo confirmed the pay packages.

“The programme is still going on,” he said. “We want to make sure that those who have been displaced will be able to start planting crops in the areas they have been relocated to before the start of the rainy season.”

The government is understood to have set aside $21m for the exercise. “I never thought the government would be serious in making sure that we get compensation,” said Taurai Charamba of Gororo village, who received $5,000. “I was given my money and I am going to start a new life.”

Richard Mabika of Dare village said he could not believe his eyes when he was given $15,000 as compensation. He said he would use the money to build a new home. “We are all smiling and God has heard our prayers,” he said. According to the villagers, homesteads with lots of fruit trees and small plantations, especially those with banana plants, were allocated more money.

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