Latest farm grab: 80 workers thrown out

About 80 farm workers from Guy Farm and their families have been left homeless following farm seizures by top government officials recently.

Aenias Chigwedere.
Aenias Chigwedere.

Desperate former farm workers told The Zimbabwean that the farm takeover by a senior official from the Attorney General’s office and a top female government official deployed at the Marondera Maguta Offices, took them by surprise.

The farm owner, Jeff Guy, had two small plots merged into one and employed 80 workers.

They invasion followed a visit to the plot by Zanu (PF) Mashonaland East Provincial Governor, Aenias Chigwedere who came in the presence of unnamed government officials two months ago.

“The (invaders) descended on the farm last week accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Lands. They gave our employer, Guy, seven days’ notice to wind up his farming activities and leave the property.

‘‘The Maguta woman the farm main house and took over control of the workers’ living quarters. She ordered farm workers and their families to vacate farm houses immediately. As we speak, the majority of the former farm workers are stranded at the farm as they have no alternative shelter,” said a dejected worker.

“Guy had no option but to temporarily transfer most of the farm equipment to Akasaba Farm for safekeeping ,’’ said one worker. A farmer only identified as Smit is understood to be renting Akasaba after entering into a lease agreement with the late Sabina Mugabe, President Mugabe’s sister, several years ago. It was not clear if she had acquired the farm under the fast track land redistribution programme or had bought it.

The Zimbabwean could not locate Guy for comment but saw some of his household property dumped at a flat in Marondera town. Sources at the farm said Tapedza confided in some workers that he could hardly afford farm inputs and equipment, and would not have time for farming activities.

“I find it difficult to understand how a fellow black man could forcibly evict poor farm workers form the land, without providing them with alternative accommodation and employment elsewhere. Our future has been shattered,” said another worker who only identified himself as Choruma.

Efforts to get comment from Chigwedere and the new occupiers were fruitless as they were unavailable.

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