VICTIMS of the flooding that ravaged the Tokwe-Mukorsi basin in Masvingo and were relocated to a rocky one-hectare transit camp yesterday called for a meeting with First Lady Grace Mugabe to address their plight.
The flood victims were initially allocated four hectares of land at Chingwizi, later had their new homes destroyed before they were relocated to a rocky one-hectare transit camp 20km from their allocated land.
The angry villagers, who stormed the Southern Eye newsroom yesterday, said they were driven out like animals and there was no one who cared about their plight.
“We were then allocated one hectare of rocky land each, which is infested with baboons and has no place to keep domestic animals,” Marry Museve, one of the victims, narrated.
“This happened after we had constructed structures at the new site using the money which we were given by the government as compensation for the loss of our homes at Tokwe-Mukorsi basin.”
Museve said the one-hectare they were given each is not enough for an extended family and has no space for them to practice agriculture.
She said they were leaving in abject poverty and starvation, as the government through the Provincial minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti had told them recently that it had no food to give them.
“Our plea is for the First Lady Grace Mugabe to come to Chingwizi as see how we live and hear from our experiences,” Museve said.
“We demand her visit as a matter of urgency.
“We also want to know if the first four hectares we were given by the government was truly given to us or it was just a campaign gimmick.”
She said food from donors had dried out and they suspected some bureaucrats were looting it before it got to villagers.
It is unlikely though that Grace will attend to their situation urgently, as she is on holiday with her husband, President Robert Mugabe. National Railways of Zimbabwe employees have also called for a meeting with Grace.
The meeting is yet to be held.
A villager, who requested anonymity, described their situation as terrible and they were akin to people who had been dumped in the wild.
“We are very angry and desperate, such that even if government officials come and chant slogans we will not tolerate it,” he said.
Villagers have previously chased high-ranking government officials who have tried to address them. They have also fought running battles with cops who tried to relocate them, resulting in the arrest of about 300 villagers for causing public disorder.