Evicted farm workers stranded

FIGTREE - Farm workers evicted here by deputy chief secretary in the office of the President and Cabinet Ray Ndhlukula have been left stranded.

Dartnelly Farm, lying about 45km south west of Bulawayo, was invaded on August 1.

The farm grows cabbages, tomatoes and rears cattleg.

Ndhlukula grabbed the farm from white commercial farmer David Connolly.

When the Daily News crew visited the farm yesterday, about 125 workers were waving placards denouncing Ndhlukula’s decision to invade the 1 200-hectare farm.

The workers, who are now camped in a tractor shed at a nearby farm owned by Connolly’s brother Michael, told the Daily News that they were stranded.

“They told us to go but we do not know where to go,” said Collen Sibanda, the workers’ foreman.

“If you look at most of us here, we were born and bred at this farm. As a result, this is the place that ourselves, our children and grandchildren have known as home. We are now living under this condition where no family will enjoy, not even him (Ndhlukula).”

Some workers said they were concerned about hygiene issues and the future of their families.

“What worsens our plight is that our employer has told us that, as things stand, there is no way he can help us,” Davidzo Mandava, a widow, said.

The Daily News witnessed irrigation equipment that has been moved onto the farm by the presidential aide.

The visibly distraught Connolly was at a loss for words.

“This is just driven by jealousy,” Connolly told the Daily News. “I was born and bred here. My father bought this farm in 1935. Most of the workers you saw there worked for my father long back and today this is what I get.”

The white farmer said his only hope now lies with the High Court.

“He (Ndhlukula) told me that I won’t win any case regarding land in any court of law in Zimbabwe,” Connolly said.

Comments (4)

These "invasions are now a nauseating phenomenon. Are we to believe that the deputy chief secretary in the office of the President and Cabinet did not own a farm before August1?

Johno - 19 August 2014

ZANU PF thrives on violence & disorder. The so called land reform yet so chaotic is the mother of endless land invasions.Our economy is agrobased but we destroy commercial farming. We pretend we are addressing colonial land imbalances yet we are displacing thousands of black families.What kind of freedom did we really fight for??

mamborume - 19 August 2014

In all honesty, how could a man who holds such a powerful position in government got left out when others with far less influential positions were grabbing farms since 2000? The way I see it, this vulture called Ndhlukula ran to the ground another productive farm before he turned eyes on this other one. How can we speak of job creation when farms continue to be invaded and in this case alone, 125 people have just lost their livelihoods. What message are we sending to the International community out there, and all this while we are hosting SADC leaders. Heaven help us all.

Dr Know - 20 August 2014

@ Johno. of cause he has others elsewhere. Its just greed and amassing wealth by these sharks. What a DEVIL. being so cruel to his fellow-people.

Muchaneta - 20 August 2014

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