Farm labourers left out

HARARE - Former farm labourers who were victims of the chaotic land reform programme are failing to participate freely in the constitution making process due to war veterans and Zanu (PF) supporters attempting to silence them.

According to the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), which is carrying out a nationwide constitution education campaign, the situation is especially dire in Mashonaland. “There is rampant intimidation at the farms from Zanu (PF) loyalists who want to foist their views on the people. People are not able to speak for themselves because of intimidation and threats of expulsion,” said GAPWUZ spokesperson, Tapiwa Zivira.

Most of farm labourers in Zimbabwe are foreigners mostly from Malawi and Mozambique. The children do not have birth certificates and are often exploited by the new farmers who pay them serf wages. “We want the farm laboures to be recognised as citizens of the country so that they will be able to participate in national events such as elections,” said Zivira

Without national identity documents farm labourers may not be able to participate in the referendum to decide on the constitution draft.

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