By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
1 July 2014
ZANU PF politburo member and Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti has been accused of attempting to grab land meant for the victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi flood disaster.
When the government relocated 3,500 families from the Tokwe-Mukosi flood basin in February, to the Chingwizi transit camp in Mwenezi, a promise was made that the victims would eventually be allocated 4 hectares of land to start afresh.
A row has now erupted between the victims and government officials who insist they can only provide one hectare of land per family. This has not gone down well with the flood victims who accuse Bhasikiti of short changing them.
Admire Mashenjere, a field officer with the Tokwe-Mukosi Rehabilitation and Resettlement Trust, which represents families affected by the dam and advocates for their rights, said government seems to have abandoned them.
He told us there is a feeling the provincial affairs Minister wants to grab a large portion of land meant for resettlement for his own personal use.
‘The way he’s brushing aside our protestations that government promised us four hectares per family is very suspicious. The land is there but he wants to subtract three hectares of land from each of the 3,500 families. Nobody seems ready to challenge why he’s prepared to do that,’ Mashenjere said.
About two months ago, government resorted to using underhand tactics to force the Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims to move away from the Chingwizi transit camp, by denying them food aid.
A storage facility that contained donated food for the victims was dismantled by soldiers and re-erected 17 kilometres away from the transit camp.