Matabeleland group petitions Parly over villagers’ displacements

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Bulawayo Central legislator Nicola Watson

BY NIZBERT MOYO

A MATABELELAND human rights group has petitioned Parliament to probe ongoing displacement of villagers in the region without compensation to pave way for mining operations.

The Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) submitted the petition through Bulawayo Central legislator Nicola Watson on Thursday.

The petition is titled Towards an Inclusive Human Rights based on National Compensation and Relocation Framework on Development-Induced relocation framework on development.

MIHR co-ordinator Khumbulani Maphosa said the villagers were being evicted without compensation.

“When eviction is unavoidable and necessary for the promotion of general welfare, the State must provide or ensure fair and just compensation for any losses of personal, real or other property or goods including rights or interests in property,’’ Maphosa said.

In Binga, villagers face eviction to pave way for the Gwayi Shangani Dam construction and a coal mining project. In Hwange, villagers are up in arms over threats to evict them for a Chinese coal mining venture. There are reports in other parts of the country where villagers are facing eviction from their ancestral lands.

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