Ward 17 Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo has assured a smooth resettlement process for 29 families living in Mazwi, Pumula to pave way for the construction of the 335km power line from Hwange substation to Insukamini electricity substation by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
The power line is part of the Hwange Power Station expansion project which will add an additional 600MW of power to the national grid upon completion.
In an interview with CITE, councillor Moyo said villagers will be safely resettled.
“Villagers in Mazwi have been staying in the pathway of a power line, unfortunately the local authority did not update them when the settled in the area,” she said.
“I had meetings with the village leaders, updating them that the process of ZPC power line will be soon under way. The process of servicing the roads, water pipes and construction of houses to duplicate the existing structures is also under way.”
She said villagers have understood the process and know very well that the City has to develop.
“People in Mazwi village have so far understood the process of resettlement as I have explained to them that they will not be left homeless. I have also invited town planning people from Bulawayo City Council who also explained that by the time they built their houses, there was no communication that they are not supposed to build in the area as they are settled in the path of a power line in years to come. The route of the power-line runs through Mazwi villages.
“Villagers however are very understanding as they know that Bulawayo is developing and Zimbabwe is growing. At the moment villagers are just waiting for an update from us,” Cllr Moyo said.
She added that the local authority has already identified an area where the villagers will be resettled.
“At the moment, villagers are still staying at Mazwi but the local authority has already serviced the area where they are supposed to be resettled in. They will be resettled and located around Sezangakhona school and council is already working on the area before people are moved.
Councillor Moyo added that people will be compensated accordingly so that they do not feel abused during the process.
“We are now waiting for the company responsible to finish their servicing and build their houses then people will be re-located to their new places and compensated accordingly depending on what they owned and how many rooms they had built,” she said.