Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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New wave of evictions affect Tongaat

The Mirror, 27 June 2014


New wave of evictions affect Tongaat


  • Managers and workers being evicted by politicians from houses


  • Two chief and their relatives biggest beneficiaries


  • Sugarcane production heavily compromised


Chiredzi – A Tongaat Hulett manager at Mkwasine in Chiredzi is now staying in a country club house and several other managers are not sure where they will be next after influential people including traditional chiefs and their relatives armed with offer letters have started evicting them from company houses where they have been staying for periods of up to 15 years.


Tongaat communications manager Adelaide Chikunguru confirmed the evictions but has declined to comment on the matter.


The affected managers provide critical technical service to newly resettled indigenous sugarcane farmers at Mkwasine which is the third largest sugarcane producing estate in Zimbabwe after Triangle and Hippo Valley.


The managers have 250 workers under them and the estate cannot operate without their service as they are the ones who maintain the canals, run engineering workshops, look after safety, health and security issues and give extension service to the farmers.


An expert said Mkwasine will literally collapse without these services and newly resettled farmers cannot organise such services on their own. These services are currently being provided by Tongaat under a government arrangement.


There was immense public anger in the sugar growing estate of Mkwasine two weeks ago when the messenger of court came and threw out goods belonging to a Tongaat manager, Madiwa Mazuru (finance and admin manager) from a house that he has stayed almost all his life allegedly to allow Rangarirai Bwawanda, who is Chief Nhema to take occupancy.


Efforts to get a comment from Mazuru were fruitless but Chief Nhema refuted allegations that he is now the owner of a plush house number 10 in the leafy suburb of Mkwasine. Sources however, said Chief Nhema’s workers are already staying in the house.


Fortune Chimbishi, the Chief Lands Officer for Masvingo promised to return a call from The Mirror when contacted for comment but he never did. His mobile was not picked thereafter.


ZanuPF Chairman for Masvingo, Retired Brigadier General Callisto Gwanyanya declined to comment.


However, the Mirror understands that the plush houses that are at Mkwasine Estates in Chiredzi were reserved for Tongaat Hewlett managers who are supposed to assist newly resettled indigenous sugarcane farmers with technical expertise.


Last week, another manager, Charles Chishiri (Health, Environment and Security Safety) was ordered by Chiredzi Magistrates Court to vacate house number 18 Mkwasine in order to allow Rumbidzai Kujinga to come in.


Kujinga confirmed that she was sister to Chief Fortune Charumbira and she bitterly complained against the Tongaat employee who she accused of refusing to vacate her house after being contacted by The Mirror for comment.


However, residents complained that Kujinga was probably using Chief Charumbira’s influence and massively benefitting from land reform programmes. They allege Kujinga has several houses in Mkwasine, a tractor and is running the main Mkwasine beerhall.


“I don’t have any other house. That is the only house I have been given by Government. Yes it is true that I am Chief Fortune Charumbira’s sister,” she said.



Efforts to get a comment from Chief Charumbira were fruitless.


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