Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights has monitored the ZETDC development-induced displacements of New Mazwi Villagers in peri-urban Bulawayo and established that whilst the housing units are of better value and quality, the processes of displacements fall short of national and international development induced displacements standards.
The affected communities praised the process for having consulted them at the beginning through various officials that include the Councilor, Bulawayo City Council officials, the office of the District Administrator (now District Development Coordinator), ZETDC officials and Resident Minister.
They further acknowledged that there was a process of evaluating their properties in preparation of compensation and a promise that they will get bigger and better housing (which is under construction now). The ZETDC new housing units have more rooms and use better construction materials than the original ones that the families had.
However, the affected families raised concerns on the following critical matters:
- After the evaluation was conducted, the affected families were not given any copies of the inventory or evaluation process so as to monitor that the compensation complies with the evaluated exercise;
- Some families complained of language breakdown with the evaluating team;
- The affected communities indicated that the ZETDC hasn’t put up an office in their community or given them designated officers whom they can contact in cases of complaints or grievances;
- Some families complained that their new yards are slightly smaller than the original ones that they had and the new settlement patterns do not conform to the original patterns;
- Some families who have amongst them people with disabilities (pwds) complained that their new houses have steps which will make it difficult for their disability family members to enter the rooms.
MIHR is in the process of engaging ZETDC officials with the monitoring findings in order to enhance the human rights based approach to d3evelopment-induced evictions and displacements.