The Chinyika resettlement scheme about 150 kilometres (86 miles) south east of Harare was partially complete in July this year, 15 months after work first started.
GV Chinyika area, Zimbabwe; construction in progress (3 shots)
GV Children carrying roof thatching for placement on roofs (2 shots)
SCU Chiropa School sign PULL OUT TO school, children, (3 shots)
GV PAN Constructing teachers' lodging (2 shots)
GV PAN New village houses completed, family outside (2 shots)
SV & GV Digging new well (3 shots)
GV Tractor ploughing land outside village
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Background: The Chinyika resettlement scheme about 150 kilometres (86 miles) south east of Harare was partially complete in July this year, 15 months after work first started. Chinyika was part of Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's plan to resettle over 160,000 people on former white-owned land in the next two years. The land, over 110,000 hectares (about 260,000 acres) consisted of a number of former commercial farms, sold by the previous owners to the government. Most of the 19,000 people settled at Chinyika to date were very poor and had no other means of employment apart from farming. Each family received half a hectare (one acre) in housing plots with six hectares (15 acres) of arable land. For the first year, the government paid for free ploughing of part of the land, and supplied free seed and fertilisers. Thereafter, further assistance was also available from the Agricultural Finance Corporation. Over 100 villages were planned for Chinyika, with about 35 families in each. Each village was to have its own borehole or well, and nine nodal growth points were also envisaged. Several government departments worked together to provide administration offices, housing, a business centre, schools, a clinic, and over 100 tractors. The resettlement plan was high on the authorities' agenda, but Reuters reported that only a fraction of that number had been accommodated on vacated land. The plans were opposed by the largely white Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), who said that if productive farm land was redistributed on a scale to resettle such a large number of people, 200,000 workers, with 1.5 million dependents could lose their jobs.