By Itai Muzondo
Masvingo, September 16, 2015 – Having suffered a severe flood in February 2014 and also not spared from the current hard hitting hunger, Tokwe Mukosi flood victims are facing yet another bleak farming season while stranded at their troubled Chingwizi camp with no concrete rescue action, Radio VOP can reveal.
The victims revealed that they are clueless about their next move to securing a livelihood and noted that the delay by responsible authorities to move them would affect their 2015/16 farming season. They also lamented that confusion has further rocked the resettlement as they are not sure whether the government will be able relocate them with adequate compensation before the rains fall.
“Last season, we did not farm because we were told government would relocate us soon. The same message has since emerged ahead of this year’s farming season where we are being stopped from ploughing to the reason that our seed would be left for vultures after we are moved.
“We are thereby vulnerable to the hard striking hunger because we cannot farm and the food distribution has also become erratic. We actually go for months without receiving food from government.
“We were also barred from building comfortable structures though it is visibly noticeable that our tents are now worn out. They are absolutely not proper for human habitation towards the fast approaching rainy season especially looking in the fact that some are already sleeping in the open.” said Robert Chigume.
“I used to have a beautiful homestead before I was moved to this place. I cannot continue staying in this tent so I decided to build a decent house. I do not expect any compensation for this house even if we are to be moved tomorrow.
“I have also started conservation farming because it is not certain whether we will be moved this year or next year. I am also doing a poultry project as you can see. I did this because I realised that no one would give you a green light to farm amid this striking hunger and being relocated has continued to be an unfulfilled promise,” said defiant Janet Mudzingwa.
Speaking on the demands the people of Chingwizi gave him since he took over expelled Kudakwashe Bhasikiti’s Mwenezi East constituency, Joshua Moyo said people have demanded that government compensate each family with five hectares land instead of the promised one hectare.
“Since I took office I have had many plights coming in from Tokwe Mukosi victims who are currently temporarily settled at Chingwizi camp. Some of the demands include being awarded a total of five hectares land as compensation by government as compared to the promised one hectare.
“They are also insisting on being given productive land and most of them have cited the land across Mutirikwi is of their preference,” said Moyo.
Moyo who automatically won the parliamentarian seat as nomination court went uncontested also said that food shortages came as a result of transport problems currently facing the social welfare department.
“The victims have always had constant food supplies from the social welfare department but challenges arose when the department said they were facing transport problems.
“I have also forwarded the victim’s plights to Minister Mahofa and she told me that plans to resettle the victims are underway as she pointed that only a few things needed to be polished out with the Ministry of Lands,” Moyo added.
Meanwhile, Masvingo resident minister Shuvai Mahofa recently disclosed in a briefing statement to Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Saviour Kasukuwere that government owes Tokwe Mukosi victims up to USD8 million.
This year would also mark the second year since the victims were evacuated from the Tokwe Mukosi Dam basin to Chingwizi camp which government had set as a temporary resettlement.