MASVINGO Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Zanu PF) yesterday dared MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to deliver his donation to Chingwizi Transit Camp refugees today to prove that his gesture was genuine.
This follows reports that Bhasikiti had last week blocked Tsvangirai from handing over aid to an estimated 3 000 families displaced by the flooding Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam.
“I called them and said I will wait for them today to come with their donation but they said they were not ready,” Bhasikiti told NewsDay yesterday.
“I asked them why they lied to the people as if they wanted to donate to the needy. Those without anything to give should keep quiet. When he called, he thought we would deny them now we don’t know why he is saying that. We are ready to receive him on Tuesday (today) as he has said he will come then.”
But Tsvangirai yesterday said he was not in a rush to tour the camp following last week’s embarrassment, adding that he would announce a new date later on.
The ex-Premier accused Bhasikiti of lying by saying that he had agreed to let the former Premier and his delegation tour the camp.
“We will be going there to meet the people. We were surprised by the statement from Bhasikiti on the matter in the Press when in fact he had said something totally different to us. Why would we lie that the president (Tsvangirai) was blocked,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said.
“We don’t have a date yet, Tuesday was a creation of the man who was backtracking. We will go there. We are going there definitely, but not tomorrow (today).”
Tamborinyoka alleged that Bhasikiti had directed the MDC-T leader to drop his donation at the government offices in Masvingo.
Thousands of people in Chingwizi camp were facing multi-faceted challenges that include diseases and shortages of food amid reports that the government was withholding food aid to the victims who have vowed to resist resettlement if they are not compensated.
Most villagers were left homeless and without food after the Tokwe Mukorsi floods forcing the government to declare it a national disaster and launch an international appeal for $20 million assistance.