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City squatters want help

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SQUATTERS in Bulawayo have appealed to the government to facilitate developmental projects to financially empower them in a bid to uplift their lifestyle.

LINDA CHINOBVA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

They said the government should initiate projects such as poultry, gardening, carpentry and sewing to enable them to make ends meet.

Dennis Netha, a resident at a slum in Trenance north of Bulawayo, said such projects would change their lives.

“We are struggling to make ends meet and with the introduction of projects to generate funds, we will be able to live decent lives because at the moment we are just a hopeless lot,” Netha said.

“As it is, we are already homeless and jobless. It is unfortunate that no one is willing to hire us for any job opportunities as we are wrongly labelled thieves. We have no other means of making money and that is why we are pleading with the government to initiate projects that will help us survive,” he said.

Another resident at the squatter camp, Anne Nkomo, said income generating projects for squatters would enable them to send their children to school as most of them were dropouts.

“Projects will enable us to pay for our children to go to school because as it is, the majority of the children are not going to school because we cannot afford to pay schools fees,” Nkomo said. Her four children do not go to school.

Margret Ndlovu from Killarney squatter camp said various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had promised to initiate projects for them but nothing had materialised to date.

“Various NGOs visited us and told us they would initiate projects for us. At one time, a certain organisation said it would bring chickens that we would rear and sell to generate income for school fees, but up to now it has not communicated with us again,” she said.

Mlamuli Tshuma said the government should prioritise squatters in cities as they were citizens being hit hard by poverty.

“We feel neglected, but we are normal human beings who want to be recognised and cared for just like anyn other citizen. The difference between us and other people is that we have been hit hard by poverty while others are managing to survive,” Tshuma said.

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