An estimated 40 000 farm workers and their dependants have been violently removed from farms countrywide rendering them homeless and ZANU-PF are the culprits, farmers groups have said.
from our correspondent in Harare
All this has been done since March 29 elections. The groups said armed youth militias loyal to Robert Mugabe had driven workers off farms in a bid to swing votes in a second round ballot.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won most votes in the first round.
“It’s ongoing so they are going to displace more people,” John Worsley-Worswick, CEO of the Justice for Agriculture Trust (JAG) said.
But the Mugabe regime rejects out rightly allegations from the opposition, human rights groups and Western countries that has launched a vicious campaign of violence to ensure Mugabe keeps his 28-year hold on power.
ZANU-PF says Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change has carried out political attacks.
The opposition has not said whether it will participate in the run-off. It
believes Tsvangirai won the outright majority he needed to avoid a second round. But if Tsvangirai does not contest, Mugabe is automatically declared the winner.
Gertrude Hambira, general secretary of the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe said the government was acting as if it were a crime to back the opposition.
“We have had security agents going out to the farms, addressing the farm workers. Some of them saying that we need to discipline you because you voted for the opposition. It’s really bad,” she said.
“Our members and their families have been left homeless. They have been attacked by a group of militias wearing army uniforms.
“They have been accused of voting for the opposition. Most of them are
either on the roadside or sheltering at some farms.” Four hundred workers were hiding in the bush and three are still in hospital
after being assaulted, she added.
Zimbabweans had high hopes that the election would usher in a period of prosperity and greater freedoms.