Second relocation for Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims

From George Maponga in Masvingo
Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa has said Government will next week start the second relocation of nearly 3 000 Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims from the Nuanetsi Ranch to seven farms that have been identified for them in Mwenezi district. Each of the families will be allocated six hectares at the new plots. Farms identified for the families are Mutirikwe, Lundi, Magudu, Javarirai and Umfulo that have better agricultural land and close to the perennially flowing Runde and Mutirikwe Rivers.

The decision to relocate them follows complaints that their current one-hectare plots at Nuanetsi were too small as the area was also unfit for human habitation owing to extreme aridity and absence of grazing pastures for livestock.

Sen Mahofa yesterday said the relocation process would start soon subject to availability of funding though.

“We have already met the flood victims at Nuanetsi and explained to them about our plans to move them to bigger and more spacious plots where there is enough land for their homes and agricultural purposes.

“Each family will be allocated six hectares because their current plots are too small,’’ she said.

“Our plan is to start the relocation exercise as early as next week but that will depend on the availability of resources.

“We have already started mobilising resources to ensure that the families are moved,’’ she added.

She revealed that some well-wishers including the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) have undertaken to assist in the relocation of the families to their new plots.

DTZ together with a group of private investors fronted by businessman, Mr Billy Rautebach, formed a private company the Zimbabwe Bio Energy that wants to build an ethanol plant on the land currently occupied by

Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims.

The company also undertook to help in setting up infrastructure and install running water at the new plots where the flood victims will be moved.

Families displaced by the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam following flooding in the basin in Chivi early last year, were relocated to their current one-hectare plots in August last year after spending over six months in overcrowded conditions at Chingwizi temporary shelter.

Initially, they resisted efforts to move them from the overcrowded camp protesting against the small plots they were being offered and the payment of $7 million outstanding compensation for their homes and property that were damaged by floods.