Government has reaffirmed its commitment to settling the outstanding $5 million compensation owed to 1 500 families displaced by flooding in the Tugwi-Mukosi basin four years ago.
The families were part of the close to 3 000 families that were relocated from the flooded basin to Chingwizi in Mwenezi in arguably the largest mass relocation of people in post-independent Zimbabwe.
Government only paid about 20 percent compensation to the affected families.
An initial 1 500 families were fully paid off before Government resorted to using the pro-rata formula to settle the claims and ensure everyone got something whenever payments were made.
The new administration under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa has already made a firm commitment to settle the Tugwi-Mukosi arrears and bring closure to the chapter.
“Government still owes the families (flood victims) about $5 million and we have received firm assurances that the money will be paid soon so that the the flood victims can open a new chapter in their lives,” he said.
“There are now about 1 500 families who are still owed by Government and we will continue to exert pressure to make sure people are paid what is due to them.”
Mr Mbetsa said Government would continue to prioritise the interests of the flood victims at Chingwizi whom he said will be the first to benefit upon exploitation of Tugwi-Mukosi water for irrigation purposes.
“We came up with a new method of paying the compensation, we are now paying them on a pro-rata basis because the money comes in tranches and we want everyone to get something so we ditched the initial method where we just paid off people according to when they were assessed for compensation,” said Mr Mbetsa.
The Masvingo provincial administrator said the irrigation needs of the flood victims will be factored in the Tugwi-Mukosi Dam master plan that is currently being drafted before presentation to Cabinet.