Minister promises schools for Chingwizi victims

by Regerai Tukutuku

The government will this year build a primary and secondary school at Chingwizi camp to cater for thousands of school children who dropped out of school due to flooding in the Tokwe Mukosi dam basin last year.

Officially opening a classroom and office block at Victoria primary school in Masvingo recently, Education Minister Lazarus Dokora said: “We want to make sure that those who dropped out of school are catered for in 2015.”

Last year thousands of people living along the Tokwe Mukosi dam basin were relocated to Nuanetsi ranch due to flooding. Hundreds of school children were affected as they had to drop out of school because of the flooding problems along the dam basin. The area did not have a single school, clinic or hospital.

Some victims started getting compensation in October last year after the government secured $2 million to compensate the villagers who have been living under inhuman conditions since February 2014.

The issue of compensation had been a bone of contention between the state and the villagers with the latter refusing to accept plots offered to them before getting compensation. The government needs about $9 million to pay compensation to all the victims.

They were bundled into trucks and relocated at the Chingwizi transit camp before being forced to accept plots at the ranch after violence broke out at the holding camp.

Twenty five of the flood victims who had pending court cases after an orgy of violence rocked the transit camp resulting in two police vehicles being burnt were late last year released after a Chiredzi magistrate ruled that they had no case to answer.