Ban hits Chingwizi children, women hardest

11
1883

TEARS of joy streamed down her wrinkled sun-baked face as she extended her coarse hands to receive a small pack of chicken pieces bought for her for $1 by a well-wisher.

Tatenda Chitagu

It is understandable for someone who has hardly had a decent meal since February when she and thousands of other Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam flood survivors were packed into the overcrowded Chingwizi camp at Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi that now resembles a refugee camp.

On lucky days she eats sadza and beans or the usual relish of matemba.

So when she gets chicken, it is like Christmas Day for her.

“Our problems continue to increase by the day. While they started off as a natural disaster, our current problems are man-made,” said a 70-year-old widowed granny, throwing her hands in the direction of the ruins of what was once a giant tent that housed all the food that was donated by well-wishers.

The widow is part of 18 000 villagers that are staring starvation in the face after soldiers acting on instructions from the government last week dismantled a large shed that served as storage space for donated food at the transit camp and moved it 17 kilometres away where government wants villagers to be resettled on one-hectare pieces of land without compensation.

“They said if we want food, then we have to move. We last had a 5kg of maize meal a fortnight ago,” she added. This scorched-earth method by government to force the people out of the camp follows massive resistance by families to go to the area where they are set to receive small plots instead of four hectares they were initially promised.

Another woman said their children were now succumbing to malnutrition and kwashiorkor due to food shortages.

“They last gave us the same quantity regardless of the number of family members. We need food here . . . our children are worst affected as they are showing signs of malnutrition. We are staring starvation if government does not change its stance.
“We wonder how we will survive given that the general consensus is that no one is going. The few that went there were assaulted by fellow villagers for selling out,” added another woman.

On one of his many visits to Masvingo after the disaster broke out, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, who is the Cabinet chair on the Tokwe Mukosi Resettlement Committee, upon being briefed that the villagers were resisting to move, advised Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti that they should only give the food handouts to a handful of villagers who had complied with the government directive.

But this threatens the lives of 18 000 hunger-stricken villagers that have been housed in the camp since February after floods flattened their homes. The villagers also claimed that even before the huge tent with food supplies was moved, they still faced food shortages of a less serious magnitude though as some of the aid was looted.

However, Bhasikiti brushed off the allegations as spiteful.
“Those are malicious reports. We have done three audits so far and no anomaly has been detected.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. this government, there simply is no limit to its cruelity.what sin has the citizens of this country commited to deserve such.

  2. Very true tiktak extremely cruel and this is also mirrored by the way they have handled the Budiriro Vapostori fight with police; intimidate anyone thinking of doing the same, not that I support the beating of the police (though our force deserves it).

  3. apaunoona vamwevana vachitotambisa nguva yavo vachienda kunopisa mashrine emapositori kuBudiriro,vakachengetedzwa nemaporisa,ndipopaunoona kuti nyaya yaNdanga nemaporisa ine chizanu,zanu mukati,vana avavarikupatiswa kana zvoshata zvinongo nangana ne apisa kwete vara rekuti ZANU even if its evil it has evil efect which the youth should not be involved in,its the job of the forces,youth should focus on prommised 2.5mill. jobs,hameno kana dzichiko, unoshaya kuti zvirikumbo famba sei ?

    • Please do not label every muvhitori as a supporter of Zanu PF. It is public knowledge that Zanu PF stole the last elections here. Zanu PF had no chance if only there was a free and fair election. The situation at Chingwizi is a national disaster that requires all sane Zimbabweans to take firm action against this government. Donated food is looted and the little that comes now is given to only those people who have accepted small pieces of desert land. We have thousands of people here who are facing starvation and also another problem is that government is forcing everybody they are giving those small peices of land to be an outgrower for the big chefs who have taken the larger pieces of cane fields in the lowveld. We are crying for help dear Zimbabweans in the name of the lord almighty. Please make this government see the sense of a fair compensation to the villagers so we can move to pieces of land of our choice and grow crops of our choice.

  4. Wait, I’m not understanding this, so they want to stay in refuge camp in the reserve instead of moving 17kms away where each family will get 1 Hectare of land and food?

    • Twimbo. Haisi mhosva yako…yu think like Bhasikiti. what do they do with that 1 hactre,without compensation of the demolition of their houses. they are not flood victims these are innocent people who were forced to abandon their homes so that crocodiles can breed inside their homes.
      stop insulting the people of chingwizi….kanakuti endawo kuBudiriro undopisa kirawa yemapostori musashaya basa

    • Twimbo these people owned large tracks of productive land measuring up to 4 hactares. Some had nice built up homes with lots of animals and farm equipment. These people were quickly moved away from their land loosing all their belongings when the dam level of the Tokwe-Mukosi dam started to rise due to flooding . Government in its wisdom or lack thereof created this problem of moving the refugees to a holding camp. The villagers were promised compensation for theis losses but now government is reneging on that and wants to forcibly move these villagers to Mwenezi, a dry and hot area not suitable at all for any farming. And worse still government reneged on an earlier promise to give these people 4 ha plots and they are even forcing the ones getting the 1 ha plots to grow sugar cane. So now the government has forced all donors not to bring any food to those refugees refusing to vacate the camps as a way of forcing them to go and claim those useless 1 ha plots. The villagers know that ones they leave the camp, noone will ever come to them to compensate them for anything.

  5. nhai hedhitor unobvisireiko maposts angu? Kana usingandiudzi handizozivi kuti ndodini, ndatadzei, ndogadzirisa zvipi ndorega kunyorevo here, ndine freedom of expression here kana kwete saka please ndiudzeiwo nekuti ndinenge ndatorawo my time and effort to relay a message

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