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    Thursday, 18 June 2020

    Lawyers demand respect for human rights in Chiredzi grass project

    Morris Bishi

    Masvingo – The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has demanded transparency and respect for human rights from Government in the implementation of a proposed lucerne grass project in Chiredzi.

    This follows an announcement by Government a few weeks ago that it is planning to establish a grass project for dairy cows in the Chilonga area that may see thousands of families being evicted from their land.

    Giving an ultimatum two weeks ago, ZLHR said the experiences of Chingwizi are still fresh in the minds of the people and there is fear that history will repeat itself and villagers are going to be evicted without food or shelter.

    The families now settled at Chingwizi were evicted from parts of Chivi and Masvingo Rural to allow for the construction of Tugwi – Mukosi Dam, the country’s now biggest internal water body that has remained idle four years after its completion.

    In the 14-day ultimatum issued on June 1, 2020 ZLHR demands a comprehensive road map for the implementation of the project, the contract entered into between the State and Dendairy the private player in the project and an assurance that there would be no human rights abuses.

    The ultimatum was sent to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, July Moyo.

    The lawyers also complained against Government for failing to consult the would be affected Shangaan people as is required by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

    “We have been instructed to request your office to furnish us with information under your custody and control, which our clients are entitled to in terms of Section 62 of the constitution within 14 days of receipt of this letter.

    “Our demands relates to the following; confirmation of whether or not villagers in Chilonga Communal Area will be displaced to pave way for a Lucerne production project, Government relocation plan for the community and issues of compensation in case of displacements and how Government is going to engage the local community over the issue,” reads part of the letter.

    The lawyers also demanded copies of all documents relating to the transaction between the Ministry and Dendairy.

    ZLHR threatened legal action if it did not receive the documents within 14 days.#MasvingoMirror#



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