Walter Mswazie, Masvingo Correspondent
GOVERNMENT will relocate about 6 000 more villagers from around Tokwe-Mukosi Dam to pave way for the establishment of an urban settlement as per the proposed master plan, a senior Government official has said.
About 3 000 families were evacuated from the dam’s flood basin in 2014 at the height of raging floods and resettled at Chingwizi in Mwenezi.
The Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) who are sponsoring the dam’s master plan to the tune of $800 000 has indicated that there will be an urban settlement around the dam with hotels, resort homes, water games, schools, churches and a 25 000-hectare irrigation scheme.
Government has contracted a South African company MBB Consulting Engineers to do the master plan.
Masvingo Provincial Administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa said there are more villagers in Chivi to be affected by the developmental projects at Tokwe-Mukosi than anticipated.
“More people, at least 6 000 villagers over and above the 3 000 families which Government has already moved to Chingwizi in Mwenezi are going to be relocated from Tokwe-Mukosi Dam.
“The reason being the establishment of a number of developmental projects at the dam but Government will solely be seized with compensating the affected families,” said Mr Mbetsa.
He said those who are going to be moved from their original homes will not only get compensation but will be given priority in business opportunities emanating from Tokwe-Mukosi Dam.
“As always, those moved from the dam will be the first to benefit from the dam. They should be part of people who will benefit from the 25 000 hectares of irrigable land. We want our people to improve their quality of life through the dam, which is the biggest inland dam in the country so far,” he said.
President Mugabe commissioned the dam, built at a cost of $260 million, in May.
IDBZ chief executive officer Mr Thomas Sakala confirmed the new development saying the first phase of the master plan will be complete in three months’ time.
“There is a consultant contracted to do the master plan for Tokwe-Mukosi Dam and we are financing that process to the tune of $800 000. The first phase which is reviewing of the 1994 master plan will be complete in three months.
“This includes material background checks. The company hired is called MBB from South Africa which has done similar jobs in Mali in West Africa,” said Mr Sakala in a telephone interview. — @ walterbmswazie3