HomeLocal NewsGovt to evict 80 families

Govt to evict 80 families

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The government will evict 80 families from Manzou Game Park near Mazowe Dam as the property has been earmarked for the development of a multi-million-dollar conservation park by Chinese and South African investors, Mashonaland Central governor Martin Dinha said yesterday.

But, the families who reportedly invaded the game park in 2000 have vowed to stay put accusing the First Family of seeking to displace them and take over the farm.

Dinha dismissed as untrue claims President Robert Mugabe’s family was behind the eviction of the 80 families from the game park, but confirmed the farm was located close to First Lady Grace Mugabe’s proposed Mazowe orphanage school.

Although Dinha could not identify the investors interested in the Mazowe Dam waterfront project, NewsDay understands the Chinese and South African financiers were reportedly fronted by a Harare businessman (named) based in South Africa.

“Our heritage is falling apart due to illegal farm invasions and illegal gold mining activities. Manzou is actually a priority project which is behind time due to these illegal invasions,” said Dinha.

“We want to put game in there so that our children will get to actually see wild animals rather than read about them in books when they are no longer there.”

He added that the government had secured
$8 million from Chinese and South African investors to develop the project.

He said the area contained many “sacred” sites connected to Mbuya Nehanda, the legendary heroine of the 1897 war of resistance against British occupation in Zimbabwe, and these needed to preserved as national monuments for the benefit of “future generations”.

Dinha said the affected families would be resettled under the government’s A1 small- scale model at four farms in the Mazowe and Concession areas.

The governor added government had secured food assistance for the affected families for the next 15 months.

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