Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Evicted farm workers living by roadside without blankets

Evicted farm workers living by roadside without blankets

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tererai Karimakwenda
23 January 2013

The families of nearly two dozen farm workers who were evicted from Mara 
Farm in Goromonzi South last week are reported to be desperate and living by 
the roadside without adequate shelter.

Armed riot police patrolling the farm are also said to be blocking the 
families from collecting their belongings, including blankets and clothing 
that was left during the forced eviction.

According to the MDC-T legislator for Goromonzi South, Greenbate Dongo, the 
new farm owner claims he does not know the families. But Edward Dube, who 
took over in 2005 under the land reform programme, is being accused of 
refusing to pay the farm workers for long periods.

MP Dongo told SW Radio Africa that he has visited the farm and seen how 
desperate the families are. With the area flooded by heavy rains that hit 
much of Zimbabwe recently, plastic shacks that have been erected by the road 
near a neighboring farm cannot provide enough shelter.

The neighbor, known as Mashingaidze, has been providing water and other 
basics that he can spare. The MP appealed to for well wishers who can donate 
blankets, food, water, clothing and any other items that would make life 
more pleasant.

The families can be found by the road near a place called Rock Heaven, close 
to the Epworth side of Mara Farm. Young children and a disabled elderly man 
with one leg are among the evicted.

The farm workers and their families were evicted Monday last week after Dube 
was granted an eviction order by the courts. The court victory was based on 
his claim that strangers who do not work for him were living on his 
property.

But MP Dongo said some of the farm workers had been at Mara Farm since 1985. 
They told him that Dube pursued the eviction after they started demanding 
that he pay them what was owed, so they could send their children to school.

Unfortunately many farm workers and their families have experienced similar 
circumstances over the years, as commercial farms were taken over by 
government and military chefs without any knowledge of farming. This has 
caused massive unemployment and starvation. 

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