HomeLocal NewsTears as Chiyangwa evicts farm workers

Tears as Chiyangwa evicts farm workers

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Businessman Phillip Chiyangwa on Thursday evicted 55 families from his Old Citrus Farm in Chinhoyi and dumped them at the showgrounds of the Mashonaland West capital.

It is alleged that on January 20 Chiyangwa told the workers to look for alternative employment since he could not pay them and this resulted in a confrontation as the employees claimed they had not been paid for the past 10 months.

The sight was pitiful when NewsDay visited Chinhoyi Showgrounds yesterday.

Visibly devastated faces of men, women and children greeted the crew on arrival. No food, no shelter and the rains started pouring. Biswark Gomo, speaking on the workers behalf, said Chiyangwa had been threatening them since 2011 when they were enquiring about their salaries.

I spoke to Chiyangwa to find out when he would pay us and he said at the moment he had no funds. So he told us to remain at the farm and said we could work elsewhere. Now I am surprised by this action, he said.

The employees said they had continued to work under manager Justin Nyamasve, hoping the businessman would pay them.

Nyamasves response was curt: I am working on orders, if you want a comment, contact Chiyangwa.

The workers reported the matter to the police in Chinhoyi under case number 1475/11 in November last year and said they were told they would not be evicted until the issue was resolved. Felistus Mvula, a mother of two, who said her husband died at the farm last week, has also been evicted.

I dont know where to go with my kids. We are of Malawian origin and my husband died last week. I feel like killing myself, she said.

Another mother of two Mary Karinga said she was born at the farm and was bitter that after serving the Chiyangwas for 10 years, she had been dumped as a thank you, without food, money and shelter.

About 15-20 children of school-going age who have since dropped from Dolomite Primary School could be seen in sombre moods and confused about what was going on. Contacted for comment, Chiyangwas mobile phone was answered by a woman who identified herself as Rutendo.

She said the businessman was busy and could only entertain callers next week.

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