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‘Farms turned into picnic camps’


A LOCAL organisation, Zimbabwe Youths in Farming (ZYF), has accused Zanu PF bigwigs and others with political muscles of abusing farms, transforming them into “picnic camps” or for holiday excursions while thousands of people were scrounging for land.


Speaking at a workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Youth Council in Mazvikadei recently, an official with the organisation who preferred anonymity said youths were being elbowed out of farms.

He said he had been kicked out of a farm he had been allocated by a district lands officer who told him he was occupying a farm reserved for his relative in the Diaspora.

The official said ZYF had since approached the relevant ministry to deal with the matter.

“We have problems at Taffdale Farm where the maize crop was cut down by another official who seized the farm from a group of youths and yet another similar case at Birthday Farm in Mazowe. In Mvurwi, there are more than 50 youths who have been chucked out of a farm by big people” the official said.

“They (the chefs) want to use the land for fun yet they are youths who have no land.

“There are more than 450 youths who are looking for land and had settled at a farm in Mazowe, but these people with (political) muscle want to settle three people there which is unfortunate. We had a meeting with Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora who has promised to act on that.

“We had a case of a person who would come to a farm with his boat and his car just for fishing on a Saturday or Sunday after which he would go back to town where he lives. He does no farming at all.”

The ZYC board pledged support for the affected youths saying the council would fight in their corner.

Although Mombeshora could not be reached for comment, his deputy Tendai Savanhu professed ignorance on the matter saying there were administrative issues that the officers in the ministry might be aware of.

“We don’t have that information, but as that is an administrative issue, I think officers in the ministry, particularly the permanent secretary, would know,” he said.

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