Relocate Lubimbi Villagers Within the Framework of Human Rights and Good Development – Hon Watson

(Hon Nicola Watson receiving Displacements Framework Communique from Lubimbi Councilor in 2022 during the National Displacements Indaba)

Bulawayo Central Member of Parliament, Honorable Nicola Watson have called on the government to ensure that the Lubimbi community being displaced by Lake Gwayi-Shangani is relocated within the framework of human rights and good development. Hon Watson made the remarks on Thursday 09 March 2023 when Parliament was debating the Report Of The Portfolio Committee On Budget, Finance And Economic Development On Visits To Flagship Infrastructure Projects. In her debate, Hon Watson also raised concerns why the report was silence on the issue of the relocation of Lubimbi villagers. An extract of her debate in the Hansard reads:

The other point I would like to mention that I do not think came out about the Gwayi-Shangani Dam is the relocation of the communities that will be affected by the construction of the dam. I would hope also that this will soon be looked at with greater depth and more aspect to those communities so that they get relocated within the framework of human rights and good development. Thank you Hon. Speaker

Honorable Watson has for the past one and a half years been a regular participant of the Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) meetings deliberating on issues of development-induced displacements and she has pledged to take the matter to Parliament of Zimbabwe. She attended the Women’s Conference in 2021 where she received the Communique and also attended the National Indaba on Development-induced Displacements in 2022 where she further pledged to take the matter to Parliament.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) has been championing the cause for just development-induced displacements calling on the government to expedite the enactment of the Relocation and Compensation Framework as enunciated in the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy. MIHR has also been on the government case demanding the release of the Lake Gwayi-Shangani Displacements Plan. MIHR is also a member of the Africa Forum on Development-induced Displacements (AfDiD).

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