GVT officially closes Chingwizi holding camp

The government has officially closed Chingiwizi transit camp where at least 12 000 people affected by flooding along the Tokwe Mukosi dam basin have been staying since February amid reports that police have since declared the camp site a no go area.

Villagers said that they were forced to accept the one hectare piece of land offered by the state while those who resisted were completely chased away.

The Zimbabwean has established that the camp is now deserted and only armed police officers have remained.

“We were just forced to accept land which was offered by the government, “said a flood victim speaking over the phone. “The camp site has been deserted and police have declared it a no go area,” he added.

“The situation even at the new compound where people were given land is very tense with villagers afraid of being attacked by state security agents, “he said.

Masvingo provincial affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti confirmed the closure of the holding camp where flood victims have been living since February under inhuman conditions.

“The Chingwizi camp has been closed since we have finished giving land to those who wanted land and to us it is a closed chapter, “said Bhasikiti.

“We will however continue to give assistance to the resettled families since we know that they do not have any food, “said Bhasikiti. “We are going provide them with food assistance until they harvest something, “said Bhasikiti.

However it has emerged that some Non Governmental Organisations which used to give food assistance to the flood victims have since stopped.

All the temporary shelter which used to be home for the victims since February have been destroyed

The closure of camp follows riots which saw police vehicles being burnt and scores being arrested for public violence. Soldiers which were part of the crackdown squad to quell disturbances have since left the camp.

The arrested flood victims have complained of police brutality while in detention. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is representing the victims.