By Tafara Chikumira
THE impasse between Africa’s biggest steel-producing plant’s investors and the Manhize community seems to be a thing of the past after the investors have fulfilled their promises of developing the resettlement area with most houses almost ready for occupation.
The homesteads have a three bedroomed apartment, a dining, a round kitchen as well as a toilet facility.
Most community members who are set to benefit from the relocation exercise have since been employed by the company and cannot wait to occupy their new homes.
“I must be honest with you, this home has been my dream all my life. I used to live in some dilapidated houses but now look at this,” said a beneficiary.
“Surely, I want to thank the President for bringing these investors here as I can feel that very soon I will be matching people in towns through occupying this homestead. I must hasten to say that for the first time I have a proper job and a payslip something I never imagined before,” said another beneficiary.
“Imagine we were resisting such a nice development simply because we were ignorant of the good news to come. Now, look at this apartment, my friend. Why would I dream of staying in town when the town has been brought to us? We want to thank our President for his vision,” echoed another beneficiary.
The government says it has identified more land for people to be relocated under phase two of the programme as the plant is set to clear at least 100 kilometres of land from Sebakwe for additional power supply.
“We have so far identified land for 30 beneficiaries. Five families have since been relocated. Four are set to be relocated soon once their houses are finished.
“We are going into the second phase where we will identify other families to be affected by the power line where we will do feasibility studies. It is only then that we will know the number of families to be affected. The land is there and it is a question of time before we come up with the exact figures,” said Antony Kutadzavushe, Mvuma district lands officer.
The US$1 billion iron and steel plant which will be running under Drinson Iron and Steel Company, a subsidiary of China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, had faced some pockets of resistance from the community in the past, after some country’s detractors clandestinely sponsored some elements to throw spanners to the project.