Some ex-farm workers, who are reportedly Zanu PF supporters, have trooped back to a Bromley farm despite a court order barring them from occupying the land owned by a new farmer.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Samson Chauruka has, since 2011, failed to occupy the 40,8-hactare Subdivision H of Whiteside Farm, which accommodates one of the biggest tobacco grading factories in the country.
When NewsDay visited the farm on Wednesday, some of the ex-farm workers had moved back, while others were still living in tents outside the farm.
In an interview, Chauruka said he has been moving from office to office in a bid to have full control of the farm, which he has failed to work on since acquiring it.
“Some of the illegal settlers, including some political players, are back on the farm. The police have not yet acted on the contempt of court report, that is to arrest those who have returned in defiance of the eviction court order. I have visited the Lands ministry, who requested to review our purchase papers again and found everything in order. I am losing production time and it is very embarrassing,” he said.
When a few months ago, police and the deputy sheriff successfully evicted the ex-farm workers, a majority of them were clad in Zanu PF T-shirts.
However, running battles erupted as the evicted ex-workers fought back, resulting in vehicles being damaged.
Some of the victims took heed to the call and camped outside the farm.
Efforts to get a comment from police in Mashonaland East province were fruitless yesterday.
Chauruka, who has all legal papers as the farm owner, said he would approach the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) if government and other relevant authorities fail to assist him.
“If no action is taken, the sad reality of seeking remedy from the ConCourt may be the only option to allow the rule of law to be respected,” he said.
“It is sad that this is a clear case of abuse of political power to dispossess black indigenous business people, by the black elite, for selfish enrichment hiding behind land reform. This flies against the open for business mantra.”
The ex-farm workers were first evicted in 2012 before Zanu PF, through the late former President Robert Mugabe, intervened, ordering them to re-occupy the compound until an alternative place was secured for them.