Augustine Mukaro/Godfrey Marawanyika
WORKERS at the Export Processing Zone-registered firm Kondozi farm in Odzi last week sought the help of Chief Marange in its dispute with Agriculture minister Joseph Made
Made had used Agricultural Rural Development Authority officials and Zanu PF youths to invade the farm prompting the workers to seek the chief’s intervention for the farm to be spared acquisition.
Although the workers met with the chief, he could not provide an immediate solution to the problem which has bedevilled the project since mid last year.
Despite an initial High Court ruling which barred the continued disruption of farming activities and attempts to grab equipment at the farm, the government has continued to seek possession of the project.
Edwin Moyo, the major shareholder, confirmed that the workers had met Chief Marange to seek assistance.
“The workers went and met the chief some time last week,” Moyo said
“I would need to check with guys in Odzi on what was the progress of their meeting.”
Moyo had not yet clarified the outcome of the meeting with the chief this week as he later flew out of the country.
However, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that although the chief had met with the workers he had since referred them to the region’s District Administrator for arbitration.
On Christmas Eve last year Made led Arda boss Joseph Matowanyika and minister Chris Mushowe together with Zanu PF youths in an occupation of Kondozi.
Kondozi exports fresh vegetables and flowers to Europe and South Africa.
Meanwhile Sheni Chimbarara, a farm worker at Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani, was shot dead by soldiers on Sunday night according to the estate’s manager. Another worker John Kaitano was also shot and injured the same day.
Charleswood Estate is owned by MDC MP for Chimanimani, Roy Bennett.
According to James Mukwaya, Charleswood Estate operations manager, the deceased was not killed as he tried to disarm a soldier as reported in the official media, but was shot from an estimated 40-metre distance.
“There was no contact whatsoever between Chimbarara and the soldier who shot him,” Mukwaya said.