via Zanu (PF) Senator calls for farm occupants’ eviction | The Zimbabwean 30.10.13 by Edgar Gweshe
Former farm workers living at farms allocated to new farmers under the Land Reform Programme face an uncertain future following a proposal by Zanu (PF) in Senate that they should be removed as they are disturbing farming activities.
The former farm workers provided a huge support base to Zanu (PF) ahead of the recent elections, when the party capitalised on their desperation while on the campaign trail and promised to look into their welfare.
Zanu (PF) Senator for Rushinga, Damian Mumvuri, recently proposed in the Senate that that the government ought to take measures against the farm dwellers, whom he accused of being behind acts of sabotage that were impacting negatively on agricultural activities.
In an interview with The Zimbabwean, Mumvuri referred to the former farm workers as a “lazy” lot that deserved to be evicted from farms they are occupying.
“They are affecting farming activities negatively in that they do not want to work and also they do not want to corporate – yet they act as if they own the farm together with the rightful owners. They just want to stay on the farms doing all sorts of illegal activities such as gold panning, stealing farm produce and brewing illicit beer.
“There are a lot of illegal activities that these people do and if you ask them to make way for people who want to work they refuse. That is why government needs to take action against these people,” said Mumvuri.
Asked whether there should be alternative accommodation for the former farm workers, Mumvuri said claims that they are homeless were baseless.
“Some, if not most of them, have homes but they do not want to leave the farms. Some of them even work elsewhere but they do not want to leave and pave the way for people who are willing to work on the farms. So that is the main challenge. These people do not want to cooperate,” said Mumvuri.
Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, declined to comment when asked whether his party would support the proposal. Last week, Lands and Resettlement Minister, Douglas Mombeshora, promised a crackdown on illegal farm occupants, saying most illegal settlements had been created by his party’s officials to win the loyalty of the electorate ahead of the July 31 elections. “This was not part of the party’s campaign strategy,” insisted Mombeshora.