The MDC T has urged the government to look for a people-centered solution to the Chiredzi Chilonga saga which is dominating the news and all social media platforms right now. The government issued an SI that will see some Chilonga villagers being evicted from their ancestral homes to pave way for the Dendairy Lucerne grass project. Many organizations and prominent people including the MDC Alliance have urged the government to find an alternative place to grow the grass rather than displace Chilonga Villagers.
The MDC T in the following statement said even though the project was going to benefit the country the government has to find a way not to destroy people’s cultural heritage. Said the MDC T in a statement:
STATEMENT BY THE MDC-T ON PENDING EVICTION OF CHILONGA VILLAGERS IN CHIREDZI BY GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE
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The MDC-T party is following with great concern the developments in Chilonga, Chiredzi, where plans are underway by the Government to displace over 10 000 villagers, to facilitate a 10 000 hectare Lucerne grass project. Dendairy, a milk products producer based in Kwekwe, owned by Mr Neville Coetzee, intends to grow Lucerne on the said land.
The project is expected to boost livestock production in the area and earn the country more than 50 million United States dollars per annum. The Chilonga irrigation scheme also has the potential of feeding up to 5000 people.
While, as a party we are in total support of investments which boost economic productivity and uplift the livelihoods of people, we are also alive to the fact that rural areas are the centre of our cultural heritage and the sentimental value of land goes beyond its economic value, as there is a traditional value attached to it. Therefore, evicting the Chilonga residents from their ancestral land is tantamount to uprooting their cultural roots.
As a people-centred party we call for a people-centred approach in which government works in consultation with the community leaders as well as the concerned residents. We further call upon the government not to coerce the concerned community leaders and residents to accept the move.
As a party, we are totally against the patronising and belittling attitude towards marginalized groups of the Zimbabwean society.
Further, it must also be borne in mind that the legacy of the liberation war was about addressing land question. In this regard, we call upon the government to amicably resolve the land question and prioritize protecting gains and completing the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.
Secretary for Information and Publicity
Source: MDC T Facebook