A Chisipite family is living in fear following threats by their gardener to unleash the wrath of Zanu PF youth militia on them for firing him from his $100 per month job.
Rui Lage has since moved his family from their Chisipite home to his mother-in-law’s house after Christopher Vinyu, employed by the family as a gardener, threatened to bring in Zanu PF youths, to violently settle a labour dispute between the two.
“I have moved my wife Penny and our child out of the home because of the threats we have been receiving from the gardener. We are afraid of what might happen to us,” Lage told NewsDay in an interview on Friday.
Lage has reported the matter to Highlands police with one Constable Murefu attending to the scene but not opening a docket after telling Lage it was nothing other than a domestic dispute.
Efforts to obtain comment from the police hit a brick wall as a police officer who answered the phone at Highlands Police Station referred questions to the official police spokespersons.
Harare police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau yesterday said he was unaware of the case and was out of the office making it impossible for him to check.
According to Lage, trouble started when he asked Vinyu to restrict the number of visitors frequenting the family premises. He told the gardener to stop taking the family home like a public road, Robert Mugabe Way.
“He (Vinyu) then got angry over the matter and started shouting at me accusing me of insulting the President, which clearly I had not. The situation deteriorated over the weeks as visitors continued to flock in at will and whenever we asked him about the matter he threatened especially my wife with violence. I then decided this could not continue so I terminated his contract with us,” said Lage.
While NewsDay was at the couple’s premises Vinyu arrived, accompanied by a man and a woman who identified themselves as local Zanu PF officials who had come to settle the labour dispute between their member and Lage.
The man identified himself only as Chuchu. He told NewsDay to stay out of the matter, accusing the private Press of always giving adverse publicity to State and Zanu PF activities.
“All you have to know is I am Chuchu and I am here to represent a worker who is being unfairly dismissed from work. We will not say much to you because the private Press is known for reporting negatively about the State and Zanu PF,” he said.
The woman, who appeared agitated, said they were Zanu PF youths out to correct people who had discordant relations with others.
“We are Zanu PF and this is our territory, we will put straight all those who cannot live well with others, this is our job,” she said.