MIHR petitions govt on Lubimbi relocations

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BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
THE Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) has petitioned government through the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) for information on the planned relocations of Lubimbi villagers in Binga.

The villagers face relocation to make way for the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani dam.

MIHR fears that if there is no communication on the relocation plan, the affected villagers might end up being stranded as the dam’s water rises.

Government says it has earmarked US$2 million to relocate Lubimbi villagers.

MIHR coordinator Khumbulani Maphosa told Southern Eye that they were now requesting for information pertaining to the planned relocations.

“We are requesting for the plan because we want to look at the displacement of these people with a closer eye. We really want to see what they are proposing and how the dam construction is going to be of benefit to the Lubimbi villagers,” Maphosa said.

“We submitted the forms on June 3 and they have not responded to us. But according to the Freedom of Information Act, government is supposed to respond to our information request within 21 days. We expect to get the response by next week.”

“I request access to the relocation or displacement plan for the Binga district on Lubimbi villagers to be displaced by the Gwayi-Shangani dam. The request is in the interest of public accountability and in the exercise and protection of a right as stipulated in section 62 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.

The Freedom of Information Act, which repealed the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), allows Zimbabweans to access information from any government institution within 48 hours.

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