Minister flees angry villagers

via Minister flees angry villagers – NewsDay Zimbabwe 16 July 2014 by Tatenda Chitagu

MASVINGO Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and several senior government officials on Monday made a hasty retreat from Chingwizi holding camp in Mwenezi as angry Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims booed and heckled him demanding compensation before they move to nearby resettlement plots.

The situation became volatile when Bhasikiti told the flood victims that the millions of dollars raised for their compensation had been diverted by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to pay civil servants’ salaries.

This was the second time Bhasikiti was heckled and humiliated by the villagers who have been in the camp since February.

In May, Bhasikiti was part of 10 ministers who were booed and heckled by the flood survivors forcing them to leave the camp prematurely. The ministers included Local Government minister, Ignatius Chombo, and his Energy counterpart, Dzikamai Mavhaire.

On Monday, Bhasikiti went to Chingwizi with armed riot police in a bid to contain the restive crowd, but the villagers forced him to cut short his speech as they booed him and refused to chant Zanu PF slogans.

They vowed to stay put at the camp where there has been an outbreak of diseases such as diarrhoea, gonorrhoea and syphilis.

Other villagers have threatened to return to the flood basin from where they were displaced.

Bhasikiti had visited the camp to persuade villagers to move to the one-hectare plots partitioned for them while awaiting compensation, which he said was being processed.

They did not listen to what Bhasikiti had to say and all hell broke loose when he told them the government had raised part of the $9 million needed for their compensation, but the money was diverted to pay civil servants’ salaries.

“The President had ordered Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to scrounge for money for your compensation. Chinamasa got some of the money for your compensation, but the problem was that there was no money for civil servants’ wages,” said Bhasikiti.

“We said there was going to be chaos if civil servants did not get their pay. Therefore the money that was meant for your compensation was diverted to civil servants’ wages, but we are trying our best to look for your money. There is an order that even if it means looking for a loan to compensate you, we will do that.”

The angry villagers interjected and one man stood up and lambasted Bhasikiti for coming with cops armed with AK 47 assault rifles to intimidate them because he knew that he was going “to tell lies”.

“You have always lied to us and this time you brought different lies. This is the same old trick that you are playing with us,” said a man to loud applause and cheers from fellow villagers.

“This time you thought you were a bit clever by coming with police details with guns to try and cow us, yet you destroyed our homes and livelihoods. We will die here in Chingwizi camp; we will not go to those one-hectare plots without compensation.”
One woman said they were annoyed by the government’s skewed priorities.

“It is surprising that you told us that you gave part of our money to civil servants who are already at work. What about us without jobs whose houses you demolished; whose property is in the open and sharing a single tent with several grown up children? What about us whose property and livestock you destroyed,” she said.

Masvingo provincial administrator Felix Chikovo and Mwenezi district administrator Stanley Chamisa tried to come to Bhasikiti’s rescue, but to no avail as the villagers booed them until they left the podium. Security details then whisked Bhasikiti away.

The women then broke into song and dance as Bhasikiti’s convoy left the camp at high speed.

Recently, the Zanu PF politburo said Chinamasa had been ordered to source compensation for the over 3 400 families displaced by the floods which pounded the Tokwe-Mukosi basin early this year.


  • comment-avatar
    Gomogranny 9 years ago

    How does it feel ZANU? When you are called your name – THIEVES, LIARS, GREEDY LECHERS. Destroyers of our once proud nation. THAT IS YOUR NAME….

  • comment-avatar

    The worm is starting to turn

  • comment-avatar

    I agree but its a very sluggish turn!

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    Animal farm by George Orwell. That man knew what he was talking about. The men we thought cared have morphed into the beast that we deposed.
    We are saddled by a bunch of dictators and oppressors worse than the Regime of yester-year.

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    Shamhu YeNhanzva 9 years ago

    These people are angry & rightfully so. They need to take a page out of the Johane Masowe playbook. These politicians can’t continue to treat people like dirt & only “care” when they need their votes.

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    Mixed Race 9 years ago

    It was really undiplomatic for this minister to utter those senseless words to homeless people caused by a government project which went wrong due to serious miscalculations.I am happy that he was told the truth which really hurts but necessary for the authorities not to take the poor for granted.His statement really annoys all those who donated funds to help these poor,homeless people to have the money diverted to pay some of these corrupt and lazy over-staffed civil servants.Why take armed police to homeless people if you have no evil intentions?Well done armed police you refused to be used to shoot innocent poor people,instead you removed him from intimidating these poor people who have nothing to loose since they lost all their properties in the disaster.

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    zanupf fear me 9 years ago

    Zanupf arrogance meets its one uppance.

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    disgrace 9 years ago

    Zanu pf mapererwa really kushaya mari yekubhadhara macivil servants munoti murikutongei.

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    isnt zanu pf won elections? yes those are the very ppl who voted 4 u zvino voda vhoti yavo motadza kuvabatsira zvavari vashoma kudai nesuwo tose takatarisira kubatsirwa makati munozvigona hezvo.

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    No shame. 9 million only, Mugabe and his henchmen should be able to pay up easily .
    But do they care?

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    Well done good people!!! You refused to used by political these idiots pretending to be sympathetic.

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    simbar 9 years ago

    Hahahaha. You cannot fool the people all the time. So civil servants are a big potential threat to ZANU PF hence they had to get salaries in preference to the flood victims. The trigger happy gun trotting riot police thought their presence would silence the victims. ZANU PF politicians used to enjoy talking rubbish with no verbal or written response allowed from the listeners but the time is over. Kusiri kufa ndekupi?

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    The villagers should have started by flattening their tyres and see how those frogs would escape.

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    maita 9 years ago

    The problem is asking people to chant political programs on national issues. This is a national disaster but you want it to appear a zanupf issue, this Basket idiot must just sit home and get his salary period, he has done enough mess. Why does Masvingo deserve such idiots last tome they almost starved because of a Maluleke guy now this Basket-case-mind-person is doing it again, we deserve better.