Families resist eviction

At least 1000 families under chief Charumbira in Masvingo district are resisting eviction to pave way for a cement manufacturing company, arguing they will suffer the same fate as the Tokwe Mukosi flood victims who are living like" wild animals" after their relocation to Chingwizi transit camp.

Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa:  we are just going to unleash police officers on them.

Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa: we are just going to unleash police officers on them.

The Charumbira villagers were supposed to be relocated this year to pave way for an unknown Chinese Company that has indicated its willingness to establish a cement manufacturing company.

They said they did not care about the benefits the new company would supposedly bring, arguing that the government had shown its true colours when it came to evictions of poor people by dumping the Tokwe Mukosi flood victims.

Ready to fight
“We are prepared even to face the Zimbabwe National Army soldiers because this is our land. We will protect it to the last drop of our blood,” said a spokesman for the villagers who refused to be named for fear of victimisation by the authorities.

“The government has shown its true colours when it comes to evictions by dumping Tokwe Mukosi victims. We do not want to be found facing the same predicament and we are saying no to the evictions,” he said. “We have ordered all the affected villagers to brace up for a war and everyone is agreeable to fighting for our motherland. As I speak we are really ready to fight,” he added.

The villagers were supposed to be relocated this year as feasibility studies for the establishment of the cement manufacturing company have already been completed. Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa has already given the nod to the evictions, arguing that the company would bring employment and other benefits to the province.

“We are happy to have this big investment in Masvingo. The affected villagers will be relocated elsewhere.  If there are any people who would want to resist eviction, we are just going to unleash police officers on them,” she said.

Much-needed employment
The minister said government and the Chinese company would jointly meet the costs of the evictions. Masvingo rural district council officials, under whose jurisdiction the envisaged project falls, have said that the investment will change the face of Masvingo province and provide much-needed employment.

Chingwizi villagers were displaced following heavy flooding along the Tokwe Mukosi dam basin during the 2013/14 rainy season.  They are now surviving by begging and eating wild fruits and sugar cane – since government has stopped giving them food rations.

Non-Governmental Organisations have also stopped funding the victims, amid reports that most of the donations were being abused by senior government officials. The government is yet to compensate the flood victims, who are living like wild animals in the Nuanetsi Ranch area.

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