Forced to prop up Zanu

The remaining white commercial farmers in the banana and coffee-rich valley are being forced to offer financial support to the Zanu (PF) leadership, attend all party meetings and keep a fully paid up party card as a way of guaranteeing their prolonged stay on their farms.

Farmers, who cannot be named, told The Zimbabwean last week that they were being forced to chant slogans and back President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) in order to hold on to their farms.

"This is the story here. They have taken the larger and more productive portions of our farms. Some of our colleagues have completely lost their whole farms. They have threatened us that if we do not adhere to their orders we will end up losing everything. This is the only way that we can continue living on the small portions of our farms," said a commercial white farmer in the area.

The situation has worsened ahead of the envisaged elections. "We have no choice but to comply," said the farmer.

A Zanu (PF) district official told The Zimbabwean that most of the white farmers were attending Zanu (PF) meetings and complying with all Zanu (PF) directives.

"We can force them to attend meetings, chant Zanu (PF) slogans and buy the cards but the truth is that they would vote for Tsvangirai in any given election," said the official.

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