TSHOLOTSHO — The San community in Tsholotsho has come up with a position paper outlining grievances, which include marginalisation in government-led programmes.
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
The development followed a meeting held with National Healing, Integration and Reconciliation minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, where they complained about neglect by the government a fortnight ago.
In their position paper dated November 6 2012, the San said Mzila-Ndlovu’s visit was the first by a high-profile government official since Independence.
Through their representatives Christopher Dube and Creative Arts and Education Development Association director Davy Ndlovu, the community said it was time the government afforded it a chance to chart its future.
“We have noticed that our lives are in the hands of other people while we were not accorded the chance to decide our issues. We agreed that this must end,” reads part of paper.
“Though we told the minister that we better go back to where we came from, we have decided to stay put here and give the government a chance to attend to our concerns.
“The issue of always running away from other groups does not work and what we want is to be assisted with clean water, hospitals and schools.
“We also want our own headmen and chiefs.”
The community alleges their plight has persisted for 84 years.
“There is a lot that we discussed with the minister over our discrimination since the time when we were intimidated during the Game Reserves in 1928.
“Our people were assaulted and dispossessed of their property and chased out of those areas like dogs. We were forced to change our life styles.”
The San expressed bitterness over allegations by some sections of society that they were lazy and did not want to farm.
“How do we get to plough when our ploughs and donkeys were taken from us? If we fail to send our children to school they say we do not want education, but the truth is that we are not employed and we do not have money to send children to school.”
The San population in Zimbabwe is estimated to be around 1 000, mostly based in Tsholotsho and parts of Plumtree in Matabeleland South.