FIFTY-ONE former labourers at Subdivision 9 of Claire Farm in Manicaland have dragged new farm owner, Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) provincial boss Patrick Mukorera, to the Constitutional Court seeking to block him from evicting them from the property.
Mukorera, who was allocated the farm under the government’s land reform programme in 2010, has been seeking to kick them out, saying he no longer needed their services.
In an application filed on January 31 this year, the farm labourers claimed that Mukorera had no right to eject them from the property which they have occupied since 1982 when it was under the previous owner Tiny van Rensberg.
Through their lawyer Passmore Nyakureba, the farm labourers said evicting them would be an infringement of their constitutional rights as well as regional and international human rights protocols to which Zimbabwe is signatory.
Part of the application reads: “The applicants are farm labourers at the farm, having been employed there on various dates most of them in 1982 when the immediate previous owner Tiny van Rensberg bought the farm.
“They have lived and raised families at the farm where they have also used small pieces of land measuring up toone-and-a-half hectares each for their subsistence farming which includes maize farming and livestock keeping since 1982.”
Nyakureba added: “Eviction from the farm without alternative shelter
and/or accommodation and leaving them to live in the open exposed to the elements and vagaries of nature, creeping creatures, reptiles, wild animals and human vagabonds is a violation of their
fundamental right to life guaranteed by section 48 of the Constitution read with Article 4 of the ACHPR (African Commission for Human and People’s Rights).”
Last year, Mutare magistrate Yeukai Chigodora referred the matter to the Constitutional Court after the workers said the eviction order sought by the provincial CIO boss was a violations of their rights.