Thursday, February 20, 2014

Zimbabwe Vice-President Mujuru Comforts Flood-hit Families

Mujuru comforts flood-hit families

February 20, 2014
From George Maponga at CHINGWIZI, Mwenezi
Zimbabwe Herald

ACTING President Joice Mujuru yesterday paid tribute to the Civil Protection Unit and other partners for working round the clock to avert loss of life at Tokwe-Mukosi following the flooding of the dam basin and downstream areas owing to incessant rains.
Cde Mujuru said a total disaster, claiming thousands of lives, could have obtained at Tokwe-Mukosi and surrounding areas had Government, through the CPU and the country’s allies from the region not speedily responded to evacuate families from the dam’s flood basin.

Addressing hundreds of families relocated from Tokwe-Mukosi at Chingwizi in the Nuanetsi Ranch after first touring the dam, Cde Mujuru said in other countries, the flooding could have claimed many lives.

“The Tokwe-Mukosi Dam was not built to bury people but to transform the lives of people through provision of irrigation water. I am happy that when we toured the dam we were not counting graves of people swept away by floods, but were witnessing the fulfilment of a dream for the people of Masvingo to finally be able to produce their own food through irrigation.’’

“I want to give special mention to our Cabinet ministers, senior Government officials, our soldiers and police officers and even all our friends from other countries such as Namibia and Mozambique who worked tirelessly to make sure that we did not lose any life at Tokwe-Mukosi.’’

She appealed to the relocated families not to despair because of the hardships they were currently experiencing saying the dam would transform their lives and make them masters of their own destiny.

“We want the whole of Chingwizi to turn into sugarcane plantations where families will be specialising in sugarcane production. We do not want you to be dependent on handouts forever.

“I want to assure you that you are not alone. We are with you and everyday we are busy planning and trying to work out ways of making your lives better. We will never abandon you.’’

She said Government would soon approach President Mugabe with a request for at least 84 000 hectares to resettle the families at Chingwizi where proper houses would be built by the State.

She said once President Mugabe has given the nod for that land to be acquired, pegging of permanent plots for the families would start immediately.

“We have already sat down and agreed that we shall approach President Mugabe upon his return this weekend with a request for land where permanent plots for the families will be demarcated,’’ she said.

“We do not want haphazard and poorly planned settlements here. We want properly planned settlements with irrigated fields at one end and good permanent houses at the other end. We want even our private companies and banks to come and assist our people here and take advantage of this situation to also grow big.’’

Cde Mujuru said that Government would ensure that no one starved at Chingwizi by providing food until families there are able to produce their own.

Earlier on Cde Mujuru was accompanied by several Cabinet ministers and Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.

Zinwa engineers at the dam told her that they now expect to complete it in August this year.

She handed over 60 tonnes of maize and maize-meal, 20 000 litres of fuel, 2 000 packets of kapenta fish, 2 000 blankets, 4 000 packs of sanitary ware among other items donated by mainly local companies to assist the flood victims.

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