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Chilonga Villagers Were Not Consulted On Evictions: Biti

MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti says the people of Chilonga in Chiredzi were not consulted contrary to Government claims that consultations were made.

Addressing journalists in Harare following a fact finding mission to the affected communities where more than 12 000 villagers face eviction to pave way for a lucerne grass project, Biti challenged the Government to conduct a referendum.

“There was no consultation, the community is very clear they do not want to move. The Government did not consult and we challenge the Government to conduct a referendum there and the people will overwhelmingly vote against their eviction,” said Biti.

He said the Government should set up a church led commission of enquiry to investigate what he termed the national question.

“I am totally against the extinction of a group of Zimbabweans to another country. I think the South African Government will say no as well. Zimbabweans must be integrated which is why I say please enact the laws, deal with devolution, let’s deal with the national question.

“Let’s have a national commission of enquiry run by the church to actually investigate the national question. What does it mean to be a Ndau, korekore, Tonga and Shangaan in Zimbabwe, these questions need to be answered, that Zimbabweans who have got their roots and umbilical cord here can be relocated outside the country breaches the International law, our constitution. Chapter 3 is very clear about someone who was born in Zimbabwe. These are Zimbabweans who have been here for over 491 years.” charged Biti.

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The displacement of the 12 500 Chilonga villagers of the Shangaan/Tsonga tribe from their ancestral land has sparked an outcry with many stakeholders calling on government to reverse the controversial decision.

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