Steps towards an Africa Forum for Development-Induced Displacements
Efforts to form an Africa Forum for Development-Induced Displacements (AfDiD) are being pursued by the Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR). A steering committee comprising members from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Tanzania has been created and has drafted a working document and ‘basic constitution’ for the forum. The forum is meant to gather community based organizations from affected communities and enhance regional solidarity and non-violent activism promoting justice about development-induced displacements in Africa. MIHR— a grantee of the Feyerabend Foundation in 2021— currently provides the Secretariat of the Forum and will welcome any expression of interest and support.
MIHR has championed advocacy for fair relocation processes and adequate compensation for affected communities in Zimbabwe. Speaking on behalf of MIHR, Khumbulani Maphosa has let us know that Minister Richard Moyo, from the Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe, just announced that the government had postponed the relocation of Lubimbi villagers, expected to be displaced by the new, dam-related Lake Gwayi-Shangan. The lake is now to be filled only in 2023. The decision has been hailed by MIHR, although it is not clear what exactly prompted it. Khumbulani Maphosa said that the Lumimbi community is facing a local authority election in December 2022, and ‘development-induced’ displacements are usually avoided during pre-election periods, as during harvest periods and other sensitive times. MIHR will be closely monitoring the process, noting that harvests will take place from February to April and there will also be a national general election in June/July 2023. All interested persons may contact: firstname.lastname@example.org