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Lack of Compensation Angers Displaced Flood Victims

  • Blessing  Zulu

Tensions are rising at Chingwizi holding camp in Masvingo as the cash-strapped government fails to raise more than $9 million needed to compensate villagers displaced by flooding at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam.

The escalating tensions have forced the government to deploy riot police and other security details.

Two villagers have since been arrested after clashes between villagers, who have moved to a permanent settlement at Nuanetsi Ranch, and those currently demanding compensation from the government before they can relocate.

Many homes were destroyed by floods and thousands in the Tokwe-Mukosi catchment area had to be air lifted by Zimbabwean and Namibian air force.

More than 3,000 families were affected by the flooding and lost property worth thousands of dollars included crops and livestock.

Launching an appeal for the victims late last month, Father Peter Chimombe of the Roman Catholic Church described as "sub-human conditions on the ground at Chingwizi Camp", adding the villagers are living like "refugees in a war situation"

Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said there are a few individuals causing friction at the camp.