Murewa villagers set to lose fields, homes to road expansion

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By Idah Mhetu

VILLAGERS in Mashonaland East’s Murewa district are up in arms with authorities over the destruction of their fields to pave way for a road.

Irate villagers who talked to said the Murewa Rural District Council had not given them any notice but just moved in and started turning over their fields they have relied on for generations.

Zacharia Chinyanja a local villager said authorities showed little care to their concerns.

“They came and started destroying our land. We were forced to quickly remove our crops before some were even ready for harvest. We are now scared that our homes will be next.

“In fact authorities have said all villagers will move at some point when they are fed up with what is happening,” he said.

Gogo Mangwende who doesn’t know her age had her small orchard that was the source of her livelihood destroyed.

“I did not know about this until I got home one day to find that my small orchard that I relied on was gone. I was also forced to clear my maize crop before I could even harvest, now how am I going to survive,” a distraught Gogo Mangwende said.

“I do not have anyone that can take care of me other than my granddaughter who also needs financial assistance. Of all my seven children, am only left with three and they cannot afford to even take care of me. What do they expect me to do.”

Opposition FreeZim Congress leader Joseph Busha, also urged government to consult people before implementing project that effect citizens.

“My view is that as a people and as leadership we must be conscious of the social impact of our decisions and what we do to affect our communities,” Busha said.

According to Busha the road which links Murehwa and Macheke is being widened and the plan has been in place since the 1950.

“We are trying to promote economic independence but as leadership we are busy destroying their livelihoods, homesteads and farms. My view is that this is abuse of human rights, economic benefits and abuse of political power,” said Busha adding villagers in the area were only given two weeks’ notice.