MACRAD started operating around Chilonga and Masimavele areas long before the law which ordered the immediate eviction of the Hlengwe-Xangani from their ancestral land was passed. That was long before Dendairy declared and published its interest in the land. Since then, we have been working with over 30 village heads around the subject area.
The fears of the Hlengwe-Xangani ethnic group commonly referred to as the Chilonga community are not unfounded. Without any consultation, the government ordered hundreds of families in Chilonga and Masimavele area to immediately pack their bags and disappear. These are not allegations. Through Statutory Instrument 50 of 2020, the government ordered every person residing within the identified area to “depart permanently with all of his or her property from the said land”. It was only after public outbursts and court applications that the government took one step back and withdrew the decree.
Fast forward to February 2022, Dendairy finally came out open to the public and declared its interests in Chilonga and Masimavele. The company published a statement highlighting that the communities concerned will be engaged. Part of the statement reads; “After dialogue at leadership levels, the engagement process will cascade to the villages for accuracy in the interpretation of the project facts”.
Before the publication of the statement, Dendairy’s Corporate Communications Officer had a meeting with journalists at the Flamboyant Hotel in Masvingo. She explained that the project will convert the Chilonga and Masimavele into a green belt that is exportdriven and will transform the region’s way of doing agriculture while drastically lifting the standards of living.
Read the full statement here (3MB PDF)