MASVINGO — Hordes of families that were forcibly evacuated from the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam’s flood basin without any compensation have been staying in the open along the Masvingo-Beitbridge highway.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
The villagers have been at Muzvidziwa bus stop in Ward 36 for the past three days with their few belongings and there is fear of disease outbreak as there are no sanitary facilities at the place.
The government is relocating the villagers to Nuanesti Ranch, but it too has no facilities and running water.
Hungry villagers — some of whom only managed to take their clothes when they were evacuated — were being served three slices of bread and Mazoe drink, but they said they needed more solid food.
“I have been here for the past three days and we are sleeping in the open,” one villager Edward Gwanyanya said.
“We have no food and we only managed to take a few belongings.
“Three families are sharing a loaf of bread irrespective of the number of children one has.”
Gwanyanya said they were not compensated by the government and they did not have money to build houses at the place they were being moved to.
“The situation is very bad here. We were moved against our will and we are still going to sleep in the open because we are yet to get compensation to enable us to build new houses,” he said.
Another victim said soldiers forcibly evicted them from their homesteads after they had resisted demanding compensation first.
“Soldiers moved door-to-door forcing us to leave our homes. We have no other home. We had to destroy our structures,” the victim said.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti was not available for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, helicopters from the Airforce of Zimbabwe yesterday came to the rescue of six people who had been marooned at different sites in Sanyati and Chinhoyi.
Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the development and warned people to heed flood warnings issued by the Department of Meteorological Services.