ANTI-RIOT police in Masvingo yesterday reportedly fired warning shots to disperse rioting Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims resisting relocation of Chingwizi Transit Camp clinic to a new site earmarked for their resettlement.
The villagers who have been at the transit camp since floods ravaged Masvingo in February this year allegedly turned violent. They blocked vehicles carrying medical equipment and drugs saying the clinic should remain at the camp until the government had compensated them for losses incurred during the floods.
The displaced villagers were demanding at least $9 million from the government before they could occupy the allocated one-hectare plots, which they described as “too small”.
The fracas happened as President Robert Mugabe, who is yet to set foot at the campsite despite declaring the flood a national disaster, reportedly told the Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday that the villagers would only move to their resettled plots after they were fully compensated.
Masvingo acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nkululeko Nduna last night could neither confirm nor deny the incident saying he was yet to get a report.
“Check with me tomorrow, I have not yet recived the report,” he said.
But, officials at the camp said the villagers blocked the road with logs, branches and formed a human barrier, blocking government trucks transporting the equipment from leaving the overcrowded camp.
“Following the impasse, which lasted several hours, anti-riot police had to be called in from Chiredzi and that is when they fired shots,” the official told our sister paper NewsDay last night.