Tokwe-Mukorsi: Shame on Zimbabwe government

via Tokwe-Mukorsi: Shame on you, govt March 15, 2014  NewsDay

The blame for the Tokwe-Mukorsi disaster lies squarely on the shoulders of the government.

The government knew that on completion, Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam would hold more than a billion cubic litres of water and it would be disastrous to have settlements precariously near such a huge water body.

The government was also warned of the weakness inherent in the structure of the unfinished dam wall that would get worse during the rainy season. It was also clear to the government that one of the most basic precautions before the construction of any dam is the relocation of human settlements to safe areas. All these factors were ignored by the government.

Absolutely nothing was done by our government that prioritises political bickering over humanitarian issues. The government was very much aware that the bulk of these settlements around Tokwe-Mukorsi were located in the flood basin of the dam. What this shows is that the government has no concern whatever with issues to do with humanitarian matters.

What is also clear is that the government is not concerned with disaster mitigation strategies that reduce or eliminate risks caused by natural disasters.
It is ironical that one of the most common phenomena the government deals with in this country is flooding in low-lying areas. With such experience and a bit of hindsight, we should never have talked of the Tokwe-Mukorsi disaster at all. The government should be indicted for negligence. Even after the disaster struck, the government is failing to resettle the people because of lack of political will.

Don’t we have land in Zimbabwe? Of course, we have plenty of land lying idle. This was the opportunity for the government to show that it was serious in its desire to resettle needy people on good land.

But, alas, the government seems not to care at all. Someone needs to knock sense into our heartless government that we are talking about human lives. We are talking about families, about people who feel the pain of suffering.

We are talking about innocent people who did not request the government to build a huge dam in their area without disaster mitigation strategies.

Reports that Zanu PF officials want to take credit for the relatively little help the people are getting after the disaster only shows the extent to which the Zanu PF government is hard-hearted. It is a sick strategy really — having caused the disaster, the same Zanu PF people turn back and pretend to be Father Christmases for political expediency.

We say shame on them! Decisive action should be urgently taken before we lose lives at Tokwe-Mukorsi. The people have suffered enough. They have committed no offence to deserve such suffering.



  • comment-avatar

    These people are too busy stealing diamonds to worry about such things. An honorable Government would except responsibly and dissolve after this type of an incident. We will never know the true number of lives lost. They will deny anything different to what they say.The day of reckoning is nigh. Woe betide the collaborators of this regime.

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    kutongwa nonjazi 8 years ago

    I doubt very much if the current crop of leaders know the difference between incompetence and competent.
    Kutadza basa masikati machena. That project is overdue, costing more money and corruption pamusoro pazvo

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    munzwa 8 years ago

    Am i missing something here, this dam has been in the making for 17 years!! Before construction starts its a given that the high water mark has been surveyed and people living below it are made aware of it and arrangements made to relocate them. Its also a given that that there would be resistance and the move would be made all the more realistic when the water starts lapping at the front door!!Relocating people for this kind of development has been going on for ever, look at Tanzania when they attained independence, Tribes were moved and integrated across the whole country!!The point here is have the Govt. agencies identified land for the relocation exercise and if so they should speak up. As for the dam construction and design, talk to the engineers, it is meant to “leak” until the upstream skin has been applied.The holes we see in the wall are a fraction of the total width of the wall.Me thinks that the Govt. were trying to solicit funds from the international community under false pretenses!!

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    Mavhu Mavhu 8 years ago

    The simple truth is Zanu and its officials do care about the people. Their only 2 priorities are to stay in power and continue looting. For this reason they have long lost the moral authority to rule Zimbabwe and should be removed from power. They impoverished the people and caused untold suffering while making themselves super rich thru looting national resources.

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    gizara 8 years ago

    mitigate, react, eradicate, choose one!

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    Ndebvu Mukomichi 8 years ago

    Our party or Govt:

    There is no need for our party or govt to resign every time you find fault with them. we the voting majority have been happy with them over the last 34 years, are happy now and will continue with them for the foreseeable future- whatever your opinion and those of your regime change hangers-on.

    If you are unable to couch today’s events in the historical perspective of the past 14 years then you may have to look the other way until the good times that are on the way are fully with us.

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    mucha 8 years ago

    This is a lie that Govt did absolutely nothing to plan for the re-location of the villagers. For a long time, the villagers have been trying to resist relocation. When construction stalled a decade ago due to lack of funds, villagers actually heaved a heavy sigh of relief. However, their fate was sealed when the government allocated US$20 million for the construction of the dam in the 2009 budget. Govt actually acquired 68 000 ha in Nuanetsi Ranch from DTZ in 2002 to resettle the families .

    So this article is bent to mislead people.