Flood disaster victims turn on each other at Chingwizi

via Flood disaster victims turn on each other at Chingwizi | SW Radio Africa  by Nomalanga Moyo on Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Violence has broken out at Chingwizi transit camp where some victims of the Tokwe Mukosi flooding disaster have reportedly attacked fellow villagers for agreeing to leave the camp before receiving compensation.

The families were evacuated from their homes in February and since then have been squeezed in at the camp while waiting for the government to compensate them and to resettle them on new plots.

The government agreed to resettle the villagers on 4 hectares of land and to give them around $4,000 each as compensation to help them rebuild their lives.

But three months later, the government is reneging on its promise, according to Admire Mashenjere, a field officer with the Tokwe-Mukosi Rehabilitation and Resettlement Trust, which lobbies for the rights of the displaced families.

“Villagers are now being forced to move to 1 hectare plots and have been told to move without receiving any compensation. This has not gone down well with some who feel that once they leave the camp, they may never get compensation,” Mashenjere said.

Villagers who had moved to the new plots are said to be returning to the camp in fear after a group of individuals who are resisting relocation before compensation followed them and destroyed their tents to protest what they deem a betrayal by their colleagues.

Mashenjere told SW Radio Africa that even those other villagers who were already settled on 4-hectare plots were being told to move from the land on which they had begun setting up permanent structures.

“We do not want to be crowded like people living in city suburbs. We have already suffered enough disruption without the government making the displacement even more challenging by forcing us to move again to plots where we will be mixed with people from other areas,” Mashenjere added.

The villagers are also worried that the area where the new plots have been pegged has no clean water, no schools and fear that they may starve to death as they say they are already struggling with access to food.

The local Mulale school is said to be struggling to cope with the large numbers of children, with each class said to consist of at least 80 pupils.

“Where I live in Block C, the government has already stopped giving us food although they know that we have not been able to grow anything to survive on.

“There is no borehole and people are drinking unclean water from the river together with animals. The place is also mosquito-infested and the local health facility is full of children suffering from malaria,” Mashenjere said.

The government insists that the villagers have to move to avert a health crisis at Chingwizi camp.

Last week, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo angered the displaced villagers when he ordered them to leave the camp without compensation, and threatened to stop relief groups from feeding the villagers if they kept resisting.

Almost all the assistance for the flood victims has come from international humanitarian groups whose swift response has ensured that the villagers have at least some food and shelter.

On its part the Zim government has been anything but coordinated – failing to respond timeously to the threat of flooding and evacuating villagers to safety and now bungling the resettlement process.

Visitors to the camp have described conditions there as extremely overcrowded with families having to share one small tent.

There have also been outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid due to the unsanitary conditions.

About a fortnight ago the head of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson, Dewa Mavhinga, said at least seven people had died at Chingwizi due to diarrheal complications.


  • comment-avatar
    Mapingu 9 years ago

    But why is that these same poor souls are going to vote zanu pf come next election, and may even all other elections to come in Zim? This is a big & serious question, especially to these rural flocks.

    Yes, we know zanu pf no longer has majority support on the overall – that is not in dispute. It now relies on rigging, intimidation, and all sorts of unholy tactics to secure majority by hook & crook – yes that is true.

    But is also true that if by some miracle Mugabe agrees to go for a free & fair election today, or even right now, zanu pf will in all fairness still get around 40% of total votes in its favour. And obviously, the distribution of rural votes will at best 50% zanu pf; and at worst significantly more than 50% for zanu pf. This is the sad reality in Zim.

    People have been inhumanly treated by zanu pf for most, if not all, of the past 34 years – if the truth be said; however a huge chunk of the same people remain stuck with Mugabe & zanu pf. Only Satan knows for what reason.

    Apparently, they can not imagine a Zim with a different person as President other than Mugabe; they can also not imagine any other party ruling other than zanu pf. Why? why? why? … wake up flocks, Mugabe munhu, akabayiwa anobudavo ropa semi wani. Akagwara, haaa, imbwende chaiyo anobva amhanya konarapwa mhiri kwamakungwa chaiko – handikutya kufawo here ikoko kutodarika imi munonorapwa paclinic yenyu isina mishonga.

    So, what is it that you people see in this failure, evil, ruthless & senile old man?

    Mugabe & his zanu pf are not only failures who have reduced majority of Zimboz to paupers; they are also cruel and satanic. They will never do anything for the good of the people even if they remain in power for centuries. Actually it now amply clear that the longer they hang onto power the more selfish & devilish they get. Are they not killing & stealing openly now? Twenty years ago did they exhibit the same level of arrogance & impunity? Yes, they were doing it but with some semblance of secrecy and/or covering of tracks – not anymore. Nowaday, Mugabe & his thugs find pleasure in parading their degrees in theft, extortion, murder, rape, and all other sorts of evil.

    Free advice to Zim rural flocks: Its well within your right to continue voting zanu pf and in doing so continue to condemn the present & future lives of yourselves & your children to miserable hell. Zviri kwamuri kufuga kana kuwarira. What else can anyone do?

    • comment-avatar
      roving ambassador. 9 years ago

      True , but we must keep on hammering into these people that there is life after Zanu. It is also the dependancy syndrome in our people that Zanu has taken full advantage off.
      No wonder some families are very happy to have relatives in the diaspora so they can have goodies posted every month. They would rather the status quo remains and the immigrants don’t come back home so they vote Zanu.
      Its sad .