MASVINGO — Ousted Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti has hit out at the Zanu PF Masvingo leadership.
By Tatenda Chitagu
Bhasikiti, who was expelled from the ruling party and recalled from Parliament, said the leadership never cared about the plight of the 18 000 Tokwe Mukosi flood victims who were resettled in Nuanetsi Ranch last year.
In an attack seen as directed at his successor, Shuvai Mahofa, Bhasikiti said the political leaders wanted the flood victims to suffer because of Zimbabwe Bio-Energy, which wants to set up an ethanol plant.
“Like I once said in Parliament, the Zanu PF Masvingo leadership is very corrupt. They wanted thousands of people to suffer because of one man [Billy Rautenbach]. They wanted to remove the people from Nuanetsi to pave way for the ethanol project, which was not fair,” he said.
“The leadership were helping Rautenbach by trying to remove the people from Nuanetsi. Luckily, President [Robert Mugabe] objected to the move.”
Bhasikiti, who had launched an application contesting his removal from Parliament, refused to comment on his dismissal from both the ruling party and Parliament, saying the matter was sub-judice.
The flood survivors were forcibly and hurriedly moved and evacuated from the basin following flash floods in February last year.
They were housed at Chingwizi transit camp for six months before being resettled in the expansive ranch against their wishes.
They were given five-hectare plots. This year, Mahofa said the villagers would be moved to Chiumburu Farm to pave way for the ethanol plant, which the officials say will create around 3 000 jobs and establish a green belt in the Lowveld.
Mahofa, however, made a volte-face after the villagers demanded that social amenities be put up first, as well as queried the size of the farm, which they said was smaller than Nuanetsi Ranch.
Mahofa then said she had identified five other farms where the villagers would be resettled.
However, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, upon his recent visit to Masvingo, told journalists that President Mugabe was the only one to decide whether the villagers would be moved for the second time. The issue appeared to have died a natural death.