MWENEZI - Hundreds of people who were displaced by the Tugwi-Mukosi floods in February 2014 and were moved to Chingwizi camp where they stay in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions have liked their suffering to colonial bondage.
The people, who fall under Chief Chitanga’s area in Mwanezi East, said they have suffered immense hardship as experienced by the majority of citizens under White minority rule.
Those who spoke to TellZim News said they were falling deeper and deeper into poverty as their livestock were dying due to lack of grazing.
“Surely, those that lived in keeps during the reign of Ian Smith’s regime were far much better than us. Besides limited access to social service, we have limited land to grow crops and graze our cattle. There is no land for us even to properly bury the dead,” said one victim.
Another one complained that government had failed to honour its promises to give them decent pieces of land but had instead ceded vast tracts of the scarce resource to controversial businessman Billy Rautenbach to establish his Zimbabwe Bio Energy (ZBE) game ranch.
“How is it possible that one man has been given so much land and allowed to fence it off? Our cattle are starving and we are becoming poorer,” said the resident of Bongo in Chingwizi.
Others said the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa was no different from that of Robert Mugabe as it has ignored pleas for fair compensation.
Ward 13 councillor, Takura Mudavose acknowledged the grievances and confirmed that people in Chingwizi had been forgotten for too long.
“People in Chingwizi do not have any grazing land; their cattle are dying at an alarming rate. I have so far informed the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Ezra Chadzamira of this and he has promised to deal with the matter,” said Mudavose.
In the run-up to the July 30 harmonised elections, MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa visited Chingwizi and castigated the government for being heartless.