TOUCHED by the plight of the Chipinge families who lost their 24 relatives in a horrific road crash involving a fuel tanker last month, participants attending a regional land conflict conference in Switzerland recently pooled their resources and donated $1 000 to assist surviving family members.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Most of the victims of the accident which involved a truck carrying mourners and a Green Fuels tanker from Chisumbanje were burnt beyond recognition.
Platform for Youth Development Trust chairperson Claris Madhuku, who also lost some family members in the accident, attended the conference and received the donation on behalf of the bereaved families.
“It was a solidarity token to the bereaved families. The money will be used at the next burial of the still-to-be identified bodies,” Madhuku said.
“The participants were touched by the level of reaction by stakeholders in Zimbabwe and they also felt they should contribute something to the victims and so they pooled the $1 000. They just felt sympathy when I presented them the situation.”
Some of the bodies are yet to be buried as government awaits DNA results to confirm their identities.
The accident was declared a national disaster and government released $200 as funeral assistance for each of the victims while Greenfuel donated $250 and a bag of maize-meal for each of the families, but families of the deceased described government’s assistance as too little.
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Madhuku said the conference focused on Zimbabwe and South African land conflicts as well as the impact of the land reform in Zimbabwe.
“It was resolved that the government of Zimbabwe should ensure that Green Fuels satisfactorily compensate the villagers of Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa who lost their land, crops, and livestock and to ensure that the employment system of the company caters for a 75% local content as agreed at stakeholders meetings,” he said.
He added that it was resolved that the government must safeguard the community from exploitation and abuse by investors.