Zimbabwe’s controversial Local Government and National housing Minister Ignatius Chombo had his scheme to force-remove Tokwe Mukosi flood victims away from the Chingwizi holding camp without paying any compensation, thoroughly crushed by the angry villagers.
Even riot police officers the minister had sent to suppress their will would not stand in the way and Zanu PF’s top decision making body, the politburo yesterday finally resolved to organise compensation before the villagers are moved to a new resettlement area.
Before this, Mr. Chombo had wanted the Tokwe victims to relocate to “a non-existent resettlement plot” also without food or compensation, as sources revealed that government last month actually had no land to resettle the victims. More problems were narrated when villagers revealed that they were being ordered by the government to plough 1 hectare of land first before each family gets the next meal. There was drama when poor Tokwe Mukosi villagers living at Chingwizi camp, vowed to fry President Robert Mugabe alive because of the alleged abuses(read more).
The protest continued for more than two weeks with the police giving up in the end. Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa was yesterday tasked to mobilise the money before the villagers can be relocated. Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo withdrawing, said Masvingo’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti has finally admitted that there is stiff resistance from the affected families to be moved without compensation.
The 3000 villagers early this year had their houses destroyed by flooding caused by failures in the Tokwe Mukosi dam construction, a standing government responsibility. Only USD3300 is required to pay to each household, a figure government failed to raise and were now forcing the villagers to relocate without the money.