Resettle Chingwizi victims, war vets demand

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THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), a powerful arm of Zanu PF, has finanally conceded that Nuanetsi Range in Mwenezi, where about 18 000 Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims were forcibly resettled from Chingwizi camp last year, is not fit for human habitation.

Tatenda Chitagu
Own Correspondent

ZNLWVA Masvingo Chapter has resolved that the government move the villagers to alternative land.

floods

“There is an agreement that the area where the flood victims were resettled is inhabitable,” war vets secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said, as he read the resolutions passed by the Masvingo chapter at a meeting with the association’s national chairman Chris Mutsvangwa on Sunday at Masvingo Polytechnic.

“Therefore, there is a proposal to get them to Chiumburu Farm where there is more hectarage.”

The resolutions came following pressure from villagers, civil society and the media to have the victims’ normal life restored.

Villagers were moved to Chingwizi camp last February after the flooding that hit the dam’s flood basin, destroying their property, livestock and homesteads.

The camp was overcrowded and the government tried to move the people out, but faced resistance from villagers who demanded compensation first as well as five hectares per family.

They are currently living on one hectare per family.

Resistance by the villagers, like chasing away 10 Cabinet ministers and blocking trucks with drugs from a local clinic that was to be moved to force them to accept the government’s proposal, failed after they clashed with the police, leading to violence that saw
two of the cops’ vehicles being burnt.

The police latter reinforced and burnt the villagers’ tents in a pre-dawn raid that saw 300 villagers being rounded up.

Twenty-nine villagers were later taken to the courts facing public violence charges, but 26 were acquitted and four others were slapped with a five-year jail term each last month.