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Evicted families denied assistance

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A humanitarian organisation, Caritas, was reportedly barred from providing assistance to the 55 families who are stranded at Chinhoyi Showgrounds where they were dumped following their eviction early this month from Old Citrus Farm, owned by business mogul Phillip Chiyangwa.

Mary Mudiwa, an official from Caritas, a Roman Catholic Church organisation, said the Acting District Administrator (DA) Joseph Manyarapasi stopped them from proceeding to help as the provincial governor had to approve their operations first.

“The DA refused to grant us permission to go and assist the people who were evicted from Old Citrus Farm, saying we should get the governor’s approval first,” said Mudiwa.

Caritas had come to Chinhoyi with tents, food and other necessities, but left with their consignment, leaving the homeless families in a desperate situation.

When NewsDay visited Caritas offices in Chinhoyi yesterday morning, the goods they had brought for the families were still loaded in trucks.

However, contacted for comment, Mashonaland West governor Faber Chidarikire distanced himself, saying he did not have problems with any organisation that seeks to help the needy.

“That is news to me, it was wrong for the DA to refuse people who want to help access to the needy people. Organisations who can help are welcome to do that as it is now a humanitarian crisis.” said Chidarikire.

The evicted families say they have nowhere to go, with some claiming they were born at the farm and know of no other home.

The former workers claim Chiyangwa told them to leave since he could no longer pay them.

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