SOME 20 families at Mara Farm on the outskirts of Epworth were on Monday evicted from the property after a fallout with the farm owner identified as Edward Dube.
FELUNA NLEYA/KUPAKWASHE MAKONYE STAFF REPORTERS
The families claimed that since Dube acquired the farm in 2005, he had been underpaying them and when they demanded their dues, he evicted them.
When the NewsDay crew arrived at the farm, a Zimbabwe Republic Police officer was observed guarding Dube’s main house while the families’ belongings were strewn outside the farm gate.
“We were evicted yesterday (Monday). We were told to move out of the farm. Anti-riot police came and took out our belongings and dumped them by the roadside, breaking some of our property in the process,” Emily Nyauwa, whose family was evicted, said.
“We helped Dube acquire this farm and we were left in custody of the houses by the former owner of the farm. Now what we did is backfiring on us, the houses have been locked and we have been drenched by the rains while camped outside with our children. Where does he expect us to go?”
Dzingai Zimbanje said the evictions had affected their school-going children.
“The situation is dire as we have no toilets to use, no food, no shelter and our children are no longer going to school. Most of these kids do not even know how to read or write because Dube has been using cheap labour from these children,” Zimbanje said.
The former workers said they could not access any food or water from their previous workplace after they were told not to enter the farm.
Zanu PF district chairperson James Kamupepa, who was also at the scene, said he was not pleased by the move Dube had taken to evict the workers and leave them in the rain.
“This tarnishes the name of the party and it should not have been done. I am making sure that something is done to get these people back to their homes. We are having a meeting with the district office to pave the way forward,” Kamupepa said.
A farmer who preferred anonymity described the action as a violation of human rights.
“We are all Zanu PF here that is why we possessed the farm from the whites, but if it turns out to be a fellow black man tormenting another black man, then it becomes unbearable,” said another villager who declined to be named.
Dube could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press last night.