Statement on the Pending Evictions of 1,000 Families in Chiredzi Rural District Council

Masvingo Centre for Research, Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) is against government’s decision to evict more than 1000 Chiredzi East and South families to pave way for lucerne production project by private milk producer, Dendairy. Dendairy is targeting about 10 000 hectares for the project of lucerne grass used for grazing, hay, green manure and silage.

Private companies who exploit labor from marginalized communities nearby own most part of Lowveld area. And in the past the government of Zimbabwe is well known for failing to provide basic welfare of residents that were evicted to pave way for the construction of Tugwi-Mukosi dam in 2014. Victims of Tugwi-Mukosi floods, had to endure hardships at Chingwizi Transit Camp before they were eventually given a one-hectare piece of land each to which they do not have security of tenure. Over the past year Masvingo province recorded a highest number of evictions amongst all provinces in Zimbabwe. The government must not prioritize to give land to private companies while the indigenous people are moved to unnamable areas where they will get less land than they had before. We stand in solidarity with villagers that are resisting the move arguing that the government has in the past failed to fulfill their promises.

As MACRAD we will do everything within our means to stand with the families in Chiredzi rural district council since currently it’s clear that the government will relocate these families to areas where there is no infrastructure, which includes schools and clinics. We have seen that in Chingwizi and Chisumbanje as such this same mistake should not happen under our watch. Instead of contracting Dendairy, the government was supposed to empower these families so that they implement the lucerne project themselves.

Source: Masvingo Centre for Research, Advocacy and Development (MACRAD)