Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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80 families evicted from Mazowe farm

80 families evicted from Mazowe farm

Sunday, 19 February 2012 13:53

A humanitarian crisis is looming after government evicted 80 households from 
a farm in Mazowe and dumped them by the roadside near Caesar Mine in 
Mashonaland Central province, where there are no shelter or ablution 
The families, who were forcibly moved from Arnold farm in Mazowe and areas 
surrounding Manzou Game Park, are staying in the open while their children 
have since dropped out of school.

The chances of an outbreak of diseases such as cholera, dysentery and 
typhoid, which recently killed two people in Harare, are high as they use 
the bush system and fetch water from unprotected sources.

In Chinhoyi, 55 other families are stranded after they were dumped at the 
Showground following their evictions early this month from Old Citrus Farm, 
owned by business mogul Phillip Chiyangwa.

Government officials last week barred a charitable organisation from 
providing assistance to the stranded villagers saying it has to get 
clearance first.
When The Standard news crew visited those dumped near Caesar mine on 
Wednesday, the tired-looking villagers were sitting by the roadside while 
others were sleeping on the grass, waiting for government officials to peg 
stands for them.

“We have been sleeping in the open since Saturday,” said a woman who 
preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation. “The rain drenched us last 
night and we fear that this can happen again for many days if the tents we 
were promised are not delivered soon.”

She added: “As you can see, we are just in the open with no clean water or 
toilet, no school for our children and no clinic.”

Each household had just been given a 50kg bag of maize but there was no 
grinding mill anywhere near.

As a result, most families had nothing to prepare for their families.

Fearing torrential rains, some families were busy putting up temporary 
shelter using wooden poles and fresh grass cut on the roadside as they could 
not venture into fenced nearby farms.

Those who had been given stands complained that they were too small. The few 
that were allocated stands were given 20 x 20 metres stands, too small for a 
family living in the rural areas.

Mashonaland Central governor, Martin Dinha could not be reached for comment 
last week.

Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Ignatious 
Chombo, who is also Zanu-PF’s secretary for lands and rural resettlement, 
said the evictions were carried out to resuscitate the game park and Mazowe 
Dam in light of massive siltation caused by gold panners.

“Those people were illegal elements who were involved in panning and thus 
destroying the lake for other people.”

Chombo said people from South Africa, Zambia, and the DRC were coming to buy 
gold in that area, which is now full of open pits.

He said the resettling of the families was done by the district 
administrator in conjunction with traditional leaders, the police and other 
government officials as required by the law. Chombo said the government was 
happy with the way it had handled the re-location of the families.

“This is a good example of a planned movement of people from an unplanned 
situation to a planned situation because they will be given stands for their 
homes and kraals, plots for their crops and grazing land,” he said.

Chombo said the evictees must not complain as 80% of them were given offer 
letters to another place which they rejected because they were immersed in 
criminal activities in Mazowe.

He said government would soon work on resuscitating the dam and the park.


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