TOKWE-Mukosi flood victims settled at Chingwizi in Mwenezi hope that the New Year will bring a lasting solution to their challenges after they failed to receive the promised compensation and new plots in 2015.
They told our Bulawayo Bureau that since raging floods destroyed homesteads, crops and livestock in 2014, they hoped that 2016 would be a better year that would see their plight being addressed.
Village head Mr Samuel Tsikisai said the year 2015 was not rosy for about 3 000 families settled at Chingwizi as they were forced to survive from hand to mouth as no one has been allowed to till the land.
He said toiling for food had been the order of the day as the handouts from well-wishers and the Government failed to sustain families.
“Things have not been rosy at this settlement and we hope in 2016, we are going to experience positive change. Supplies from Social Welfare have been erratic and the promises for relocation have not yet been fulfilled,” said Mr Tsikisai.
He said the situation had been made dire because about 2 500 families had not received their compensation.
Only $2 million has been released for about 500 families.
“As it is we had no meaningful Christmas like the rest of people in Mwenezi given our situation.
“We are all confused, nothing has come to fruition.
“There is need for our leaders to instil a sense of hope to the villagers here in the New Year,” he said.
A villager, Mr Maningi Chaza, said some villagers were looking forward to benefiting from the $400 million ethanol plant to be established in Chingwizi area.
The Government has given the nod to businessman Mr Billy Rautenbach to establish the plant which will employ over 1 000 people.
“We hope a number of people will benefit from this business venture in 2016. We have been on the receiving end for two good years and it is time we benefited,” said Mr Chaza.
Masvingo provincial administrator Mr Felix Chikovo said the Government would address the villagers’ grievances.
“It is unfortunate that the Treasury has not been realising meaningful revenue inflows in 2015 hence the stalling of progress at Chingwizi and Tokwe-Mukosi.
“The two projects should be addressed in 2016 as they have a bearing on the development of the province. Chingwizi issue is always our priority,” said Mr Chikovo.