Homeless villagers affected by hailstones in Chemupungani

Njelele 2 ward 15 Councilor Abraham Nyamazana is appealing for assistance from government departments, organisations, and well-wishers to assist villagers who have been affected by hailstones in Chemupungani area.

On 30 January 2023 Chemupungani village, was hit by hailstones that left 30 homeless, and destroyed all the fields. Farmers lost properties, houses were destroyed, and need to be re-build. Furthermore they also lost different crops from their fields including maize, ground nuts, round nuts, sorghum, and vegetables from the garden. Nyamazana pleaded with well-wishers to come through, and assist villagers.

“There are not only 7 homesteads affected, but nearly 30 villagers were left homeless, and they are struggling to survive without shelter. I am not happy with the coincidence that took place because about 370 fields were affected at Chemupungani. As a leader I am devastated by this situation. I am also one of the affected so I understand the pain, and hardships that everyone is going through at the moment,” Nyamazana said.

Furthermore, due to the hailstones the health of livestock in the area has been negatively affected. Some of them are developing disturbing diseases.

“The health of all domestic animals affected is now deteriorating, and that means the people of this area will be left with nothing to navigate life,” he said.

According to Nyamazana, it has become difficult for him to go, and check on the villagers because every time he visits they will be inquiring if there is anyone who has come through to assist.

“I am now afraid to go to the distracted area because people are in a sorry state. Facing them is difficult because they have communicated that they need assistance from the government, and well-wishers. Sadly no assistance has materialized yet, and we hope we will get assistance soon.

“At the moment, the affected villagers need food in order to survive rather than giving then farming inputs. We plead for assistance from the government of Zimbabwe, Charity Organizations or anyone who can assist with food for those affected,” he added.

Councillor Nyamazana further clarified on the issue that has been brought forward about the illegal settlement in his ward.

“I disagree with the statements that people who were affected by the hailstones are illegal settlers. Those are the words from the Rural District Council because they want their relatives to stay there, but I have been given an order by his Excellency President Mnangagwa for those people to stay in that area. We were placed by the state in a linear setting, so we do not listen to the RDC, but the government,” he said.

He further blamed the RDC for not paying attention to the affected homesteads citing that, they are ignoring a call for help because they claim Chemupungani villagers are illegal settlers.

“The Rural District Council is not taking action to help Chemupungani villagers. It is almost two weeks since disaster struck, they have not done anything, just because they are saying the villagers there settled illegally.

“RDC refused to certify the people at the affected area saying they are illegal, but the places like Bomba, Ngondoma, Gawa and Mapfumo are all in forestry area though they cover a big area unlike those people at Chemupungani they cover about 5 hectors of 45 hectors of the Forestry,” said Nyamazana.

Efforts to get a comment from the Gokwe Rural District Council were fruitless as the CEO’s mobile phone was unavailable before this paper went for print.